This blog is a new effort for Women’s Crisis Services.  We are moving ahead in our efforts to reach more people and let them know of the important work we are doing in Waterloo Region.  Our blog, which will feature a variety of writers who will bring a variety of topics from a variety of perspectives, will help us do that and help us connect to you, the reader.

For too long, our organization has  been a well hidden secret.  We kept our shelter locations secret.  We were careful not to disclose a lot about ourselves, because the thinking was that by doing so, we could protect women and their children who are fleeing abusive situations.  Now, we are moving away from that thinking.  We have made the locations of our two shelters public.  In Kitchener, Anselma House is at 700 Heritage Drive.  In Cambridge, Haven House is at 562 Concession Road.

When we rebuilt Anselma House from a 20 bed to a 45 bed shelter, we made the decision to make our location public.  The fact that we need to increase the number of beds in order to serve the need in our region indicates that this issue has not gone away.   Violence against women is a societal problem.  It has been a hidden problem, not talked about, seen as a private matter, to remain within the family.  It has been shrouded by shame.  It is time to shine a light on this area of darkness in our community.  We all need to work together to change attitudes, to  help not just the women and children move beyond violence, but our entire community.  We want all members of our region to know who we are, what we do, why we exist and how to access our services.  We want to ensure that those who need our services know about us, those who have family members or neighbours or friends who need us, will know that we are here.  The thing about domestic violence is that it is not so far away from any one of us.  All of us know someone who has been touched by this issue.  Let’s bring it out in the open.  Let’s talk about it.  Let’s help.  Let’s move beyond violence in our homes and families and move toward a healthier society as a whole.

Looking forward to seeing your ideas and comments!