2019 Family Transition Place Fall Newsletter

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Family Transition Place Fall News 2019

November is

WOMAN ABUSE Prevention Month

Statistics tell us that half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since they turned 16. On average, 20-30 women a year are murdered in the province of Ontario alone. Domestic violence is the number two reason for calls to the emergency police services. Additionally, violence in the home overwhelmingly affects children. It has an impact on their ability to focus at school, on their relationships with peers and adults, it increases their risk of participating in high risk behaviours such as substance abuse, and it increases the risk of anxiety and depression. Further to this, domestic and sexual violence has a significant impact on the workplace and in the larger community. This is not just a “big city” problem. A study by the Canadian Women’s Foundation reports that 6,000+ women and children sleep in shelters on any

given night because it isn’t safe at home. We are not surprised. The beds at Family Transition Place (FTP) are full—all the time. There are women calling daily for space in the shelter, and asking to be put on the wait list for counselling to help them deal with the impact of the violence and abuse they have experienced.

Wrapped in Courage purple scarf campaign. The purple scarf symbolizes the courage it takes a woman to leave her abuser. However, the courage of a woman is not enough. It takes the strength of an entire community to end violence against women.

Read more about our Woman Abuse Prevention Month campaigns and how you can show your support!

By purchasing and wearing a purple scarf, tie, or a purple LOVE pet bandana, you can support the services at FTP and show your support for ending woman abuse. Wearing the scarf is also a silent message to those women walking among us (and there are many) who have experienced or may be currently experiencing violence and abuse. It shows them they are not alone.

We need our community to be aware and to recognize the part each individual needs to play to change this scenario. Therefore, in recognition of Woman Abuse Prevention Month, we are proud to announce the return of the annual

Woman abuse is not a women’s issue. It is a human rights issue, and it affects us all. Together we can work to eliminate woman abuse. Indeed we must. Every woman and child has the fundamental right to live in safety and security.

How you can support Woman Abuse Prevention Month (WAPM) It is every woman’s fundamental right to live in safety and security in her home

and community—free from the threat of

violence. WAPM is designed to help everyone get informed. Learn the characteristics of a healthy, equal relationship. Promote to

friends and family that everyone deserves

to be in a good relationship where you give and receive respect, trust, and friendship.

Learn about violence and gender inequality by asking a woman who trusts you how

violence has affected her life. Then, if she feels comfortable to talk, sit back and

listen. Check out our website and follow

us on social media. We share a wealth of

information, accumulated experience and

knowledge. Support the Wrapped in Courage purple scarf/tie/pet bandana campaign (all

items available for purchase on our website at www.familytransitionplace.ca).

When you become a monthly donor, you give so much more than money. We are looking for 20 more people who

are willing to sign up and help make a difference. You choose the amount—$5, $10, $25/month or more. You can cancel any time should your circumstances change in the future. Monthly budgeting allows us to better plan for the future, lowers administrative costs and helps us set more predictable budgets.

Sign up online at familytransitionplace.ca

Ferguson Memorial Walk On September 12, 2009 Heidi Lee Ferguson (nee Bogner) lost her life due to a tragic domestic dispute with her estranged husband. In remembrance of her life, the Ferguson Memorial Walk was created to raise awareness and help prevent future violence against women. To date, the Ferguson Memorial Walk has raised $136,000

in support of FTP. Previously, Gus and Penny Bogner—along with their friends and family—hosted the event. This year, FTP was honoured to continue their mission to bring good from the tragedy their family experienced by helping other families in our community. This year’s walk raised $16,000.

Rural Response Program We are thrilled to be receiving funding over five years from the Federal Department of Women and Gender Equality to continue and expand our Rural Response Program. This program offers mobile-crisis counselling and support services to women in rural Dufferin County, and was originally created as a pilot program operating on a one-time grant. Photo: 2017 Dufferin Board of Trade Innovator Award winner.

always said she couldn’t do it on her own. Today, she exclaims, “I am very happy to say that not only did my sons and I survive, we thrived!”

As a young child, Lani Elliott dreamed of a future in law enforcement. Her dreams were realized when she joined the RCMP as a special constable at the age of 19. She married, had two children and was living what looked to be “a perfect life”; but this was not true behind closed doors. Unfortunately, Lani’s dreams were shattered when her marriage ended in an unspeakable act of domestic violence that left her with broken legs, homeless, and with two small children in tow. At this year’s HOPE Project, Lani shared her incredible story of resilience and survival. “Breaking my silence on the cycle of violence that I found myself in was only the beginning of my journey to healing,” Lani remarks. “In sharing my story with others, I found a community of support that I didn’t even know existed, and every single one of those people played an integral role in who I am today. Through them, I found my strength…strength that was there all along; I just needed that little extra assistance to get me to see it also.” Lani’s ex-husband did serve time for what he did to her, and even though it was minimal (two and a half months in jail), it gave her enough time to file for divorce and start over in a new city, independent of him and his family. Since then, she survived as a single mother, and never had any help from any of them, simply because they had

Her oldest son, who has Autism, defied the odds, graduated from high school, completed an IT tech course at the top of his class and lives independently with his cat. His younger brother is currently in his third year of university, studying computer sciences and is an incredibly talented musician. Both young men are very respectful, and are a joy to watch as they interact with the world around them. Lani also has two younger sons who are aspiring musicians (one a gifted piano player, and the other and incredible guitarist).


20 Bredin Parkway, Orangeville, ON L9W 4Z9 www.familytransitionplace.ca

As for Lani, although she lost her career in policing due to the assault, she managed to rebuild an amazing life for herself and her children that is free from violence, free from fear, and finally, free from shame. Lani’s message for those experiencing domestic violence, “I urge you to please seek help. It is sooo worth it!! Trust me!! These past few years have been incredible ride.” “I am currently working on two books that are near completion, one being a book of poetry, and the other my autobiography.”

“The best is still to come, though!” Lani states, “As I said, although I lost my career in policing as a result of domestic violence, it is domestic violence that is bringing me full circle. On July 4th of this year, I received a call from the Domestic Violence Unit of RCMP “F” Division requesting my assistance in training police officers on how to better interact with victims of domestic violence/sexual violence in the line of duty. This will be a pilot project, launching in October 2019, and will be the very first time that an actual survivor of domestic violence will be brought in to assist in this kind of training for the police force. They chose ME! Life just keeps getting better and better and DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE!”

We thank Lani for being a “Voice of Courage” at our event; inspiring and educating others through her story.

The HOPE Project is FTP’s annual fall fundraiser. The event mandate is to raise money and awareness to help promote equality and end violence against women. This year’s event raised $44,000! Thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising efforts.

24 Hour Info/Support Line 1.800.265.9178 T: 519.941.4357 T: 905.584.4357

Our Values Ambassadors

When a staff team can come together around a shared vision, purpose and set of values, there is not much they cannot accomplish. This past year, FTP embarked on a long-term agency culture project, taking a deep dive into reaffirming our purpose, our vision and naming our values. We have core values: Compassion, Integrity, Inclusiveness, Respect, and Continuous Learning and Innovation. A very engaged team of FTP staff known as the Values Ambassadors, have been working tirelessly to create definitions and behaviours for each of the five values. Because values are only words unless they are supported by beliefs and behaviours. The Values Ambassadors are working to embed the values deep into the agency culture and are continually working on opportunities to ensure that each staff member is supported in incorporating these values into every decision and action they take in the course of their work at FTP.

It is always sad to lose a valued member of your team, but there is also a lot of pride and excitement for what is to come for them. Therefore, it is with distinctly mixed feelings that I announce the resignation of Stacey Tarrant, Manager of Development and Community Relations. In the 10 years that Stacey has been with FTP she has transformed the way we think about fund raising and about our community impact. Stacey has taken our fundraising events to another level, making the decision to ensure that our events always had a double bottom line—raising much need money to support our programs while marrying this with our mandate to inform and educate. She founded the Hope Project, grew IWD and created both the Hope Magazine and Celebrating Women, where we were able to feature stories and articles designed to inspire. Her other accomplishments while here are too many to name but Stacey is leaving a profound legacy. Our fundraising targets have doubled in the time Stacey has been here and she has ensured that we met or exceeded those targets every time. Stacey’s common answer whenever a new

idea or issue presented itself and we worried about how we could afford it was: “Don’t worry about it! I’ll find it.” and she usually did. I will miss working with Stacey—she was often my “Blue Sky” partner and when we brain stormed together, nothing was too big or too daunting to try. But one of the principles I live by and always tell my team, that when the time is right for them to stretch themselves and try something new, I will support them all the way. And Stacey knows that she has my support 100%. I firmly believe that with Stacey’s positive and ambitious nature, she will succeed easily in her new venture and I wish her all the best with all my heart. In the meantime, our talented Events and Community Relations Coordinator, Kelly Lee, with my support and that of the entire FTP team, will ensure that everything in this department runs smoothly until we decide how we will move ahead to fill the holes that Stacey’s departure will be leaving. Stacey’s last day will be November 29. Sincerely, Norah Kennedy, Executive Director

This year is the 30th anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women. FTP has held an annual vigil in Bolton (in partnership with Caledon Public Library) and Orangeville for many years, but in recognition of the 30th anniversary, the ceremony—while still being held on December 6th—will be held at a different location, in a different format. More details can be found soon on our website.

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