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The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie

How The Women & Children’s Shelter Helped This Mother

Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie
We will start with the end and that was in January 2012. I did not even realize it was happening – it was more emotional and subtle psychological abuse. If we had an outing to attend with family or another couple, he would suddenly be called in to work, and then 15 minutes later, he would be back home. I would ask what happened and he would say they called while he was on the road. It was all BS used to manipulate me and shrink our social relationships.

As the marriage approached its end, his violent breaking of my possessions continued to spiral out of control. I did not think someone could turn so drastically. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the day he threatened to kill me. One night I was getting ready for bed and he told me to sleep with one eye open because he was watching a show about a man who killed his wife and was later acquitted. And he said, “so I now know how to commit the perfect murder.” Another time he grabbed me by the throat and said, “what do I have to do to get rid of you and your parasite of a son?” And then, after that he would just start saying if it were legal, I would be dead.

I am a Christian, so I went to my church, told my story, and was directed to go to the police. After speaking with a detective who later arrested him, I was given an appointment with a “victim services officer”. She was extremely helpful and gave me this huge envelope filled with different resources. The next day I was told the house was being foreclosed. I fell to my knees and asked God for help. While I was riffling through that huge envelope, I found the outreach services of the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie.

I met with a counsellor, was put on a priority list, and was later offered an apartment in a social housing seniors’ building. Not only do they help you with housing but provide a safe place to tell your story in a closed group session. Once there you move onto the open groups. I thought I was okay to attend open groups, but many times I broke down. Up until today I have not cried. It is incredible what abuse does to you.

I would not be where I am today if not for WCSB. They have introduced me to fellow survivors who are still my friends today. Doors would not have been opened for me except for their help. One door that opened was meeting two members from the Green Party at my apartment building who encouraged me to apply to be on the Seniors Advisory Committee for the City of Barrie. I have been a member of that committee since November 2018.

A few years ago, I was broken, hopeless and lost. Today I am healed, thriving and optimistic. There is life after abuse, and it can be a good one. I know because I am living it. It was a leap of faith, and there are tremendous resources out there, but you must act. They do not know about you until you reach out.

Help me help others get the support they need by sharing my story about The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie and the great work done by the Kempenfelt Rotary Club.

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