Taking a stand against domestic violence
Published Wednesday, January 12, 2011 6:21PM MST
Some people see a wrong and accept it. Others see the same situation and choose to do something about it.
That's what one woman decided from an early age about an issue others around her just accepted.
Joy Johnson-Green grew up in a community where people turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to domestic violence.
She recalls a gathering where the host kicked his wife.
She was astounded at what the adults did.
"People just put their heads down and I remember thinking at the time, I'm gonna do something. I was 12."
Now Joy is doing something about it.
She runs the Sonshine Community Services shelter in Calgary, a transitional home for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
It's where they go to get their lives together, often after spending a week or so in an emergency shelter.
At Sonshine, they can stay for up to a year.
Joy has a staff of counsellors and therapists who work with the residents, helping them to get over their feelings of inadequacy and encouraging them to develop life skills and resume their education.
Their children also receive professional help to make sure they get out of the cycle of violence.
Toys and play therapy are a big part of their healing.
"Often times the kids will communicate best in play and that's how they cope with a lot of the things they're facing. That's how they deal with a lot of the problems that they're dealing with, the impact of the domestic violence. And that's their best way of communicating,"
Joy is also involved in fund raising for Sonshine Community Services.
If you'd like more information or would like to volunteer or make a donation, visit their website: www.sonshineservices.ca.