Thinking About Leaving?
The decision to leave or remain in a relationship is yours. We appreciate the many reasons why women stay, including: out of love, out of fear, for financial security or housing, lack of support or child custody concerns. Know that you are not alone. There are options. If you are experiencing violence or abuse in your relationship, please call our 24 hour support line 604-892-5711 or 1-877-890-5711 and a trained support worker will help guide you through your options, even if you are not ready to end the relationship.
Would you rather connect with a support worker in person? Support workers are available to provide information and support as you explore your options and assist you in negotiating practical challenges at our Whistler and Squamish Women’s Centre locations. Our Women’s Centres are a safe space for you to receive confidential support, information, advocacy and referrals.
If you have to leave your home, it is important to take your children with you. It will help you protect them and improve your chances of getting the parenting orders you want later.
If your partner will not let you take the children, get legal advice right away. A lawyer might be able to help you get an interim parenting order or a protection order to get the children to safety. If you cannot afford your own lawyer, you can talk to family duty counsel or a family justice counsellor for free.
Whether you decide to stay in the relationship or leave, consider creating a safety plan. Although you do not have control over your partner’s violence, you can plan and think about how to respond to him and how to best keep yourself and your children safe. Connect with a support worker to develop a personalized safety plan. The support worker will help you identify strategies to increase your safety while living with an abusive partner, prepare in advance for the possibility of further violence and/or develop a plan for preparing to leave.
The level of risk increases for the woman when the abuser believes she is leaving the relationship. Leaving must be done with a careful plan in order to ensure safety.
WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU IF YOU LEAVE HOME
Consider placing some items in one location for easy access if you have to leave quickly. If that isn’t safe, store items outside the home or give copies of documents to someone you trust, such as:
◦ Driver’s license or ID
◦ Birth certificates, CareCards, Social Insurance Card (SIN), Status cards
◦ Medications and prescriptions
◦ Cheque book and bank book
◦ Money, debit and credit bards
◦ Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage papers
◦ Marriage license, divorce papers, protection order
◦ Insurance papers (car, home, health)
◦ Citizenship or immigration documents, work permits
◦ Keys (house, car, office)
◦ Bus pass or money for a cab
PETS & ABUSE
Pets can often become the target in homes where violence against women occurs. In order to obtain and/or maintain control over his partner, an abuser may threaten and/or cause physical harm or death to family pets. This form of psychological abuse is highly effective as many women will choose not to leave an abusive situation if it means they have to leave their animals behind.
Pearl’s Place Transition House believes it is important to support all women leaving abusive relationships and as such has one room that is dedicated to women with pets.
If you suspect animal abuse please contact:
Squamish SPCA: 604-898-9892
Whistler Animals Galore (WAG): 604-935-8364