The Dream: A romantic proposal, the perfect dress, floral arrangements, a beautiful home and happily ever after.
The Reality: For some women, their wedding day marks an escalation of abuse. Interval House, Canada’s first shelter for abused women and their children, provides a safe space for women and children and helps them rebuild their lives, free from violence.
A Registry No Bride Should Need
The sad reality is that many women report that abuse escalates as soon as they get married. In this symbolic registry, we imagine the items that a woman trapped in violence might need.
Marianne’s Story – Untraceable Cell Phone
Marianne’s husband wouldn’t allow her to have her own phone. Instead, he bought one for her, and told her that she was only ever allowed to talk to him. No friends, no family, just him. He tracked her calls on a daily basis, and told her that if she ever dared to speak to anyone else, he would smash the phone over her head.
Denise’s Story – Cried all Night Sunglasses
Denise had the big, beautiful wedding that she had always dreamed of. But as soon as they were married, her partner started acting differently, screaming at Denise and telling her that she was useless and pathetic. She lost all of her confidence and felt terrified every day, in her own home.
Aradhna’s Story – Locked Fridge Protein Bar
Aradhna’s husband was controlling in many ways, but especially when it came to food. He put locks on the fridge and cupboards, so Aradhna had to ask him for permission whenever she wanted to eat. One day, he even refused to feed their own children. He told her that if she wanted them to eat, she should get a job and pay for the food herself.
Riya’s Story – Don’t Talk Back Arm Sling
Riya and her husband were enjoying a luxurious getaway in Mexico. At first, everything was romantic and fun. Then one night, after Riya came out of the shower, her husband’s demeanor suddenly changed from cheerful and relaxed to irrationally angry. He began grabbing, scratching, and hitting her with anything he could find in the room, including a glass ashtray. She ended up with bruised ribs, a broken arm, and a severe concussion.
Each of these survivors’ stories is a grim reminder that intimate partner violence takes many frightening forms. These courageous women can share their stories today because they were able to reach safety and begin again at Interval House. Without the support of friends like you, their stories—and their lives—could have had a very different ending.
If you or someone you know is getting married, adding Interval House to your gift registry is a wonderful way to give back and support women who have survived abuse. Give them a second chance at happily ever after. For more information about how to do this, visit www.brokenbride.ca.