Power of One: Domestic abuse survivor helps others
Published Sunday, November 14, 2010 5:12PM EST
MONTREAL - After years as a victim of domestic violence, June Mitchell freed herself and now makes it her mission to empower other women.
The founder of Women Aware, Mitchell helps women take steps to leave abusive homes through the help of a drop-in service and resource centre. The group is run entirely by women who themselves have been victims of abuse.
Working to empower women before it is too late, Women Aware teaches women how to cope after they've freed themselves from an abusive domestic setting.
"What happens to the women? Do they go back? Do they get better? We wanted to put another face on domestic violence," said Mitchell, who, 15 years ago through the help of a CLSC support group, found comfort and the means to break away from an abusive situation.
"I did not want to leave," said Mitchell, adding that the group providing an incredible amount of support to her in a critical time.
"We were getting so much support from each other," she said.
She and Women Aware co-founder Tasha Parashis now work together to provide that same support.
"Being in that situation, (you feel) like there's no help; no one can help you," said Parashis.
Women Aware helps victims recognize that they can be survivors.
"We hear those (horror) stories...but you don't hear about all the women that have survived," she said.
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The first Annual Fundraising Gala will be hosted this Thursday by CTV's Tania Krywiak - "Out of the Shadows – Vers la Lueur" - on Thursday, Nov.18th, 2010 at The Renaissance, Centre des Congres 7550 Henri Bourassa Blvd. E.
Cocktails with silent auction commence at 6:30 p.m. followed by a dinner with entertainment from singer Sylvie Degrosseillers and special guest speakers.
Proceeds will help the group fund its current services, as well as allow it to expand newer programs such as education and prevention in schools.
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