New pilot project to test innovative approach to housing for rural victims of domestic violence
High River, AB, June 4, 2019 – Rowan House Society is ready to begin development of a new project in Claresholm, thanks to a significant grant from Status of Women Canada’s Department for Women and Gender Equality.
The federal government recently committed a total of $731,289 over a four-year period, allowing the Society to develop, implement and evaluate the new Safe at Home (SAH) program, focusing on supports for women living in
rural and remote communities.
In this new approach, incidences of domestic violence are identified, usually by RCMP, and the perpetrator is (either voluntarily or nvoluntarily) removed from the home and provided with temporary housing and counselling to address his behaviours. Meanwhile, it provides more stability for the victims of abuse, as the women and children get to remain safe in their own homes and communities while also receiving supports from the Society as needed.
“When women and children leave an abusive situation, their whole lives are typically uprooted while little changes for their abuser, who may continue the cycle of violence with his next partner,” said Rowan House Chief Operating Officer, Timmi Shorr. “One of the reasons this project is so exciting, is it actually addresses the root cause of domestic violence and works to ensure that cycle of violence is broken.”
Shorr explained the project will be tested in Claresholm as families in rural/remote areas typically have a harder time accessing domestic violence services, and service providers in the town were immediately responsive to the idea and interested in making it available to their community members.
The Society will be working with its partners to finalize project details over the next several months and anticipate implementing the program in April 2020.
Rowan House’s mission is to provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities. In doing so, we work to fulfill our vision: that every person is safe and secure and lives without abuse.