For women who are victims of violence and abuse in their relationships, it’s not always as simple as just leaving.
And it can be exponentially more difficult for victims to get themselves out of a dangerous situation when they share a home or family with their abusers.
Lorraine Hearn, executive director of The Central West Committee Against Violence, said their Grand Falls-Windsor office often has 8-10 women who are dealing with abuse at home come through their doors each week – and that’s on a slow week.
“In these cases, safety is always our first concern, and that often means she has to move,” said Hearn.
Her organization works with several others in the region such as the Central Housing and Homelessness Network that helps victims of violence find emergency housing.
But what happens when you leave everything behind?
According to Hearn, in some cases women escaping from violence often have to start their lives again from scratch, sometimes without the means for necessities.
That’s why for the past three years the Grand Falls-Windsor branch of the real estate company Royal LePage has been making annual donations to the Committee Against Violence.
Last week, they presented the committee with a $4,125 cheque to be used to help women fleeing violence get back on their feet.
“Through our partnership with other organizations, the donations from Royal LePage will be committed to women leaving violent relationships,” said Hearn.
She said women in these kinds of emergency situations might need any number of things to get by.
“If a baby needs a crib, if a mother needs a bed, if she needs medication for herself or her children, the funds will help respond to the needs of the family on a priority basis.”
To raise the funds, the eight Royal LePage real estate agents working in Grand Falls-Windsor donated part of their own commission on house sales over the past 12-months to support the cause.
“To show our commitment to this cause, our agents have signed a pledge sheet to donate again in 2012,” said Brenda Cluney of Royal LePage.
The donations are part of a larger initiative called the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, which is the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to supporting shelters and ending violence against women and children.
Hearn said her organization is extremely grateful to be the recipient of this donation each year, and said she would like to thank Royal LePage for helping them help victims of violence.
The Central West Committee Against Violence’s mandate is education and public awareness on the issues of violence and abuse, and to support victims of violence in a number of ways.
Their offices can be contacted at 489-8828.