On Tuesday, November 5, we welcomed 350 friends, supporters and community members to join us and explore the impact that Woman abuse has on kids.

November is Woman Abuse Awareness month, and Women’s Crisis Services  is the only agency to provide emergency shelter and outreach programs to abused women and their children in Waterloo Region.

Cambridge Kiwanis Primary Choir

The Cambridge Kiwanis Primary Choir sang to us during dinner time and provided a joyful start to the evening.

As we settled in for dinner, we had the Kiwanis Primary Choir entertain us with their songs they are preparing for the holiday season. Comprised of children from grades 1-4, they were a little nervous but they brought smiles to our guests and filled the room with joy.

Mary Zilney, CEO,  helped us to understand the issue and brought a local point of view when she revealed that we are now seeing a third generation of women that need assistance to move beyond violence.

Read Mary’s poignant message here.

Mary also introduced some new ways in which we are trying to reach different audiences. Social media, video and infographic are just a few tools that we are using to communicate to our partners, community members, and to women who at risk. To learn more about our awareness campaign, click here.

Dr. Peter Marshall delivered a promising prognosis for some of society’s most challenging issues and mixed wisdom with compassion and hope as he explored the impact of domestic violence on kids.  His real life experiences with children and families allowed him to bring first hand knowledge and insights from “Matthew” and “Patrick” ; each with different experiences and different ways of coping.


Art pieces created by children at Haven House and Anselma House

Dr. Marshall answered questions and supported the audience who were from all walks of life; professionals, social clubs, politicians, new Canadians, mothers, spouses, clients and more.

The audience was left with the following thoughts from Mary Zilney:

How can we allow these kids to continue suffering so needlessly? 

How can we continue to make violence against women a private matter?

The lives of these kids become changed forever, their futures become altered, and their relationships become compromised.  It is our responsibility, yours and mine, to take action, not look the other way, and strive to break this destructive cycle of abuse.

Let’s rise up together….in fury, in indignation, in desperation and then move to action….in collaboration.

 In closing I will leave you with this challenge……

If THIS IS OURS TO FIX, what are you going to do about it?