Envision Counselling and Support Centre is shedding more light on how people suffering domestic or intimate partner violence can get help.
Last week Envision highlighted the programs they offer to victims and others affected by domestic or intimate partner violence.
“Reaching out is really hard, but that's what the counselling team does, and we understand the nature of how, even sometimes when people are deciding to leave an unsafe situation, that's often the most dangerous time," said Envision's director of operations, Laura Melle.
Melle said it's important that people who are impacted by domestic violence find someone to confide in, whether it's a trained counsellor, friend, or family member.
"We're definitely noticing an increase of domestic violence and partner abuse in our area," she said, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We have definitely seen an increase in referrals, not just within Estevan, but across the southeast.”
Envision Counselling also has counselling centres in Weyburn, Oxbow and Carlyle.
“Reaching out is really hard, but that's what the counselling team does, and we understand the nature of how, even sometimes when people are deciding to leave an unsafe situation, that's often the most dangerous time," said Melle.
Envision offers a safe space to discuss issues and offer potential solutions.
“It's not that we're going to expect you to report anything to the police or make any decisions. A lot of times people just need to know what is available to them and to know that there are supports available,” said Melle..
The Interpersonal Violence Abuse (IVA) program is one of Envision's longest-running programs and is offered at all four locations. It aims to help anyone who has been affected by intimate partner violence, sexual assault or abuse as a child.
The Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) program is about early intervention and community education. It aims to prevent intimate partner violence from escalating.
“Intimate partner violence is something that is definitely progressive, maybe there's some controlling behaviors in the relationship, it starts off minor and then it usually escalates over time,” explained Melle.
Both programs are funded by the Ministry of Justice.
“People are experts of their own life and even if you're not ready to leave an unsafe situation, we're here to support what that looks like for you,” Melle concluded.
You can call the Envision office or check out their website to book an appointment with a trained counsellor.
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