The timing and reasons for getting out of an abusive situation are different for each individual.

For Sarah, it was the looks on her children’s faces after yet another violent outburst from her husband. 

Without grabbing a coat, she walked in the rain to the nearest phone and called the police.

Sarah had been living in fear for so long, she wasn’t sure she would ever feel safe again.  She was terrified that her kids could be taken away, she didn’t know where she could get money to live on, she had only the clothes on her back.  She had a long and bumpy road ahead. 

Working together with the police, child protective services, legal aid, and the women’s shelter, the Women’s Outreach Counsellor at E.Fry helped Sarah to understand and overcome the abuse and oppression that she had been putting up with for so long.

We determined that Sarah was in a high risk situation.  We shared our concerns with Sarah, and with her permission, we shared our concerns with the other service providers who were involved in her situation.  The result was better coordination among service providers, improved safety planning, and increased support for Sarah and her children.

This March, the Elizabeth Fry Society was approved for a grant to develop a Protocol for Highest Risk Domestic Violence.  This project will include formalizing processes for agencies who are part of the response to domestic violence including: RCMP, Corrections, Crown, Victim Services, and Child Protection.

The protocol will ensure that when a situation exists that is high risk, like Sarah’s situation, we will be able to repeat the successful coordination and safety that occurred for Sarah and her children.

To read Sarah’s Story visit: http://www.beyondcrisis.ca/sarah/

Warning signs of high risk domestic violence: