Success Story: Sense of Community

April 28, 2019 Healing Heroes

Equality sought us out after first seeing a counsellor at Pace Community Support, Sexual Assault and Trauma Centre – Grande Prairie and they suggested that she go to one of the abuse groups that Odyssey holds every week. She then met a Community Support Worker who facilitated some of the abuse groups at Odyssey House and Serenity Place. Equality began to share bits of her story with the Community Support worker, who then asked if Equality would meet one on one with of the Community Support Team and do a Danger Assessment. Equality’s score for her Danger Assessment was a 29 which is above high risk, at which point the Community Support Team strongly suggested the Second Stage Shelter- Serenity Place for her safety. Equality said “Community Support Worker and Client Support worker and the other staff as well, really helped me understand the extent of my abuse”. Equality experienced sexual, emotional and physical abuse and recounted the belief that these behaviours were normal in marriage.

Equality expressed her wish that the community was more educated and awareness about marital sexual abuse.  Recounting that for herself, She thought this was normal until her Pace counsellor and daughter expressed that it’s wasn’t. Equality feared the unknown and wasn’t sure she was going to be able to this by herself. Equality attended Odyssey House groups which helped her build self esteem and gave her the ability to ask for help. Equality recounts the sense of community she found with other residents and the staff that gave her the ability to come out of her shell.

Serenity Place Client Support workers helped giving her the confidence to make important decisions in her life. Equality has now bought her own condo and moving forward in her life. Equality is still good friends with some of the residents at Serenity Place and visits them often. “When you are living with people that is going through the same as you are it helps and you feel less lonely”- Equality Equality is living free of abuse and bravely advocating by sharing her story.

Thank you to the real life women behind “Equality”who share their stories.