A healthy community starts with healthy individuals, making it a safe place for everyone to live, work, play, and raise their families.
But issues like domestic violence harm our community and can create long-term repercussions for not only its victims but their families, too – they can negatively impact people’s physical and mental well-being and can even push families toward poverty.
When young children are exposed to the traumatic events of domestic violence, it affects their brain development and negatively impacts their ability to learn. They are also much more likely to become abusers themselves or believe that threats and violence are a normal part of relationships. This can affect the rest of their lives, and even create a cycle of violence and poverty.
A place to call home
United Way is working to end domestic violence before it happens – they support community partners that focus on promoting healthy relationships, sparking community-building initiatives, ensuring vulnerable people have access to supports and services, and helping residents talk about how to address domestic violence issues in their communities.
Breaking the stigma
Humaira came to Canada from Saudi Arabia, and had no idea about the country and how the system worked when she started experiencing domestic violence, – but leaving her marriage was hard because she didn’t know the language and was going through culture shock.
Because of organizations like United Way, she received help and is now able to help others who are in the position she once was.
“I know now that I have support of the United Way-funded group I work with. We develop resources that help people in the South Asian community to recognize domestic violence and show them where to turn. And we work to change the perception of domestic violence in our community. I know that even though I am a single mother of two girls, organizations like United Way will support me.” – Humaira, domestic abuse survivor.
Programs and supports
United Way engages individuals and families before domestic violence occurs to help alleviate the need for additional intervention services, such as emergency shelters or the justice system. In partnership with other agencies, their network of services ensures people impacted by domestic violence have access to supports such as counselling, safety planning, and other community resources.
If you need to talk to somebody, call 2-1-1 or go online to get connected to programs and services that can help you. The service is free and available 24/7. If you need emergency support, call 9-1-1.
Click here to donate today and help ensure women like Humaira thrive!