Breaking the Cycle of Violence
The goals of the Third Place Transition House are simple, not easy. They aim to break down the stigma of abuse within families, continue to partner with local organizations to best support survivors, and improve the overall wellbeing of families by breaking the cycle of violence. During Family Violence Prevention Week and beyond, it is essential to shine a light on the violence that takes place within families, and to let those experiencing violence at home know that, not only are they not alone, there are safe places and people closeby they can lean on.
“Violence against women is a pervasive and complex social problem,” says Emily Stewart, executive director of Third Place Transition House. “We understand that choosing to leave an abusive situation is never easy, but we are here to support through it. Our services are non-judgemental and… we work to create a safe, supportive environment where healing can begin.”
Serving the Truro, Colchester and East Hants regions in Nova Scotia for nearly forty years, Third Place provides shelter and support services all year, around the clock. Services are free and available to any woman over sixteen who is fleeing abuse of any kind – family, domestic, or intimate partner violence, or abuse from a roommate or landlord. Children often accompany their mothers and have access to a large outdoor playground and an indoor playroom full of toys.
Confidentiality and safety are key. If you are someone looking for shelter, a stay typically lasts six weeks and includes food, toiletries, and other basic necessities. If you are looking for someone to talk to, to answer questions, or to access resources without looking for shelter, there is not even a need to leave your name. Here are some of the many different ways the Third Place Transition House provides safe, essential community support:
- A 24-hour crisis support line (902-893-3232) that you can call at any time to talk to someone about your situation or to make a plan to change.
- If you are looking for shelter, a staff member will do a phone assessment with you and create a safety plan for leaving.
- If you are not looking for shelter, Third Place also provides public education through outreach or family support services.
- Staff are available to meet one on one to provide counselling, court accompaniment, assistance with paperwork, applying for emergency protection orders, providing referrals to income assistance, subsidized housing, legal aid and parenting supports, and other essential services.
- As a service provider working to protect the wellbeing of children, staff at Third Place have a duty to report any abuse. If you have stayed at the shelter and then choose to return to an abusive situation, staff will encourage you to contact child welfare, or will do so on your behalf.
“We believe that families thrive and grow within a healthy environment,” says Stewart. “And healthy relationships build healthy families, which create healthy communities. We look forward to being part of more advancements in keeping women and children safe in their homes for years to come.”
To find out more information about the Third Place Transition House, its services and staff, visit www.thirdplaceth.ca.