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At Interval House, we hear countless stories from women who have survived and fled domestic violence. We hear stories about abusive partners who pointed a gun at them and threatened that if they ever leave, they won’t live to see another day. And unfortunately, death threats are not uncommon when it comes to an abusive relationship. It’s another reason why women feel like they can’t leave.
Recently, we introduced you to Shirin, one of our long-time Women’s Counsellor Advocates. Each month, we’ve been shadowing Shirin to give you an idea of what a day’s work is like as a counsellor at Interval House.
While women live at Interval House, they attend group counselling sessions twice weekly: on Mondays and Thursdays. These counselling groups cover a wide variety of topics from self-esteem, the cycle of abuse, and healthy relationships to time management and budgeting.
On June 22nd, Interval House hosted the 6th Annual BESS Reunion and Graduation to honor past and present program graduates. It was an emotional night that inspired everyone who attended and made them proud to be a part of the BESS program.
Hollywood and the celebrity gossip mill often seem like harmless forms of entertainment – dissecting the fashion, lifestyles, and personal lives of entertainers can be lighthearted water cooler conversations. The personal lives and dramas of our favourite entertainers become global news stories, and we see relationships play out on a massive scale.
In February of this year, Interval House posed this question to Ontarians through an Angus Reid Omnibus Survey: “What are the most important factors that contribute to abusive behaviour?” We let them answer in their own words and used the most common responses to make a word cloud. Each week for the next month, we’re addressing a common attitude about the causes of domestic violence to investigate: is it true? Or is it a myth? In this post, we answer: does a desire for power and control cause domestic violence?
The first time Anne and Bobi came to Interval House, they were part of a corporate volunteer group that volunteered for a day around the holidays. In addition to decorating and cooking a big family meal, they toured the house and heard stories about women who had the courage to leave an abusive home—women who were brave enough to start their lives from scratch, caring for their children alone.
On my quest to find happiness, I took a meditation class and I learned about the word seva: it means service. The whole idea is to be more compassionate—to give without expecting anything back—and it got me thinking about reconnecting with a place that made such a positive impact on my life.
It’s okay to be angry, but it’s the way we deal with our anger that matters. That’s the message at the heart of a new activity introduced in the children’s program designed to teach kids to develop good coping strategies. The Zones of Regulation1 sessions start with colour-coded zones—red, yellow, green and blue—to help children identify how their brains and bodies feel.
When a woman leaves an abusive situation and comes to our shelter, she’ll have many questions and unknowns about Interval House, the process, and the timelines for rebuilding her life. One of the questions we’re asked most often is how long do women stay at our shelter?
The answer: A woman will typically stay at our shelter for three to four months. This timeline is for several reasons. After her stay with Interval House, many residents will move into City of Toronto subsidized housing. This resettlement process takes three to four months.
In February of this year, Interval House posed this question to Ontarians through an Angus Reid Omnibus Survey: “What are the most important factors that contribute to abusive behaviour?” We let them answer in their own words and used the most common responses to make a word cloud. Each week for the next month, we’re addressing a common attitude about the causes of domestic violence to investigate: is it true? Or is it a myth? In this post, we answer: does a history of childhood abuse cause abusive behaviour?