Charity Spotlight: This blog post was provided by Katie Trace, Operations Coordinator, at Dixon Transition Society, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.
November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s a day to commemorate the strength of women like Leah, one of our former clients. At one point it was unclear whether Leah would survive the violence she suffered at home. Years of abuse had isolated her from her friends, family, and community, severing any social network that might help her leave the relationship. This caused her to feel embarrassed and scared to reach out. Her husband kept control of the family finances so leaving to become a single mother with no money seemed daunting and unthinkable. It was an unimaginably tough decision that she had made so many times before, but this time courage and the hope for a better and safer life guided her to grab a few belongings and her children in her arms and walk out that front door for the last time.
Thinking of Leah and the thousands of clients Dixon Transition Society has served over the years, it is important to acknowledge gender-based violence as a global pandemic with roots in the persistent inequality of women.
Global inequalities can be most strongly felt in our homes, daily interactions and communities. As such, the most effective solutions often occur on smaller scales. All over the world there are community-based responses to violence against women that save lives and support women and children through the process of leaving an abusive relationship. Dixon Transition Society is proud to be one of these small, but mighty organizations.
Dixon Transition Society was founded in 1973, at a time when women were getting together and raising awareness of domestic violence as a systemic, political issue rather than a private one. Women had very few options after fleeing abuse; the Marguerite Dixon Transition House was founded to provide women and their children with a confidential, emergency shelter where they could be safe and receive support and services.
For the last 42 years, Dixon Transition Society has provided comprehensive services for survivors of violence beyond initial trauma. Staff work with the goal of meeting the women where they are at, and to facilitate their own process of community building after fleeing violence.
In addition to providing emergency shelter, we offer Family and Stopping the Violence counselling, Second and Third Stage housing, and a Housing Outreach program. Offering a continuum of services is crucial in lessening the impact of violence and helping our clients rebuild their lives free of violence. Our staff and programs work towards achieving these goals while also raising awareness about gender-based violence and working towards breaking the cycle of abuse.
Dixon Transition Society continues to be structured by a deep sense of community. We have deep ties to our community and many organizations and businesses that support and value our work. We see the impact of our work every day. Last year we served 609 survivors of domestic violence. We housed, nourished and supported hundreds of women and children as they strived to rebuild their lives. We see our impact in the lives of clients like Leah, who now is safe in her own home, does not experience abuse and control over every aspect of her life and is raising children that are happy and safe.
Before he left the House Leah’s 10 year old son told us “Every morning I got to see happy faces and made so many new friends. I will never forget you”.
We will never forget the courageous women and children we serve either and are proud to be part of the global fight to eliminate gender-based violence.
To learn more about Dixon Transition Society, please visit their charity profile >>