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For the 16 Days of Action against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10), Interval House is featuring the amazing work being done by other violence against women agencies in the GTA. This is the first blog in our 16 Days Series.
The end of the year is fast approaching but before we bid farewell to 2014, there are a few facts that should be remembered. One in three women worldwide is a victim of abuse every day. In Canada, half of all women over the age of 16 have experienced violence in some form. Though sobering, these numbers are real, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence works to spur conversation and shrink the statistics.
There has been an undoubted swell of conversation on violence against women in recent weeks. A few swipes on your smartphone or clicks on the computer and you’re reading another story about CBC host Jian Ghomeshi or football player Ray Rice. But still, domestic violence remains an unpopular topic that many are reluctant to discuss. And though current news is rife with many high-profile abuse cases, women are still unlikely to report abuse when it occurs.
It was a spook-tacular Halloween at Interval House! Both children and moms alike were filled with the fun and festive spirit for our Halloween party, which took place on October 30.
Hosted by a team of volunteers from CIBC, the party featured pumpkin carving and decorating, candy, and lots of fun! The kids loved dressing up in their amazing Halloween costumes donated by CIBC—we had an elephant, cows, Elmo, Spiderman, and a lady bug at Interval House that evening!
October has been an exciting month, with many reasons to celebrate including the launch of our new PSA. But did you know it was also Women’s History Month in Canada? It’s time for Canadians to celebrate the achievements of women and girls throughout our history. And it gives us an opportunity to learn about the valuable contributions that women and girls have made.
As anyone who runs a household knows, no sooner do we get home from the supermarket than it feels like it’s almost time to restock the dwindling supplies in the fridge and pantry. It never ends! Interval House maintains the same level of activity of the average bustling household. But instead of feeding just one family, we have many more mouths to feed, diverse diets to consider as well as diapers to change on a daily basis. Our grocery carts are something to behold!
The rain, the bugs, the sleeping bag, the BEARS—that’s what it’s all about. Spending time in the wilderness—canoeing, hiking and camping—is the ultimate exercise in character building! It is one of those life experiences that we carry with us forever. The chance to face our fears and overcome obstacles, the feeling of resilience and the fun of staying positive in spite of life’s challenges—these skills cannot be taught in a classroom.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So when Brianne showed up for her job interview with a beautiful new briefcase, she could see the employer was impressed. She says the briefcase may have clinched the job. It was just a symbol of the professionalism, poise and confidence Brianne herself was projecting. Those are the real reasons she made such a great impression.
The changing of the seasons brings an eerie echo to Interval House. It’s hard to comprehend the cyclical nature of abuse. We hope we’ll be wrong about it. We hope the next wave of women and children seeking shelter and safety won’t arrive when the school year ends, and again when the winter holidays arrive. But that’s what happens. So we must be prepared.
Today Interval House and KBS’s new Cause Company launched a PSA campaign in response to the recent swell in news coverage of high profile domestic violence incidents.