The director of a program that helps women and children who are fleeing family violence is our inspiring Albertan this week.
When women and children settle in at Discovery House chances are they'll soon encounter director of programs, Monique Auffrey.
Auffrey loves the Discovery House Family Prevention Society because of the way everyone shares a common goal.
“There is a big vision and a lot of heart within this organization through its staff, the front line, the executives and the board and when you see that commitment reach out to clients and change their lives and to make a difference it's nothing but inspiring,” said Auffrey.
Auffrey comes to her position at Discovery House with impressive educational and professional credentials and can also relate in a personal way to the women who come to the long-term shelter.
While working on her masters in social work at Dalhousie University in Halifax, she was herself a victim of domestic violence. She says it never occurred to her to speak about it publicly until she began to work at discovery house.
“It became apparent to me that in order to help fight the stigma that many women face who are fleeing domestic abuse, I needed to share my story and I needed to come out from behind the shadow if you will and speak about my experience."
Tanya Shewfelt is the senior communications adviser for Discovery House and says Auffrey debunks a bias of what domestic abuse victims look like.
“A lot of times people will say, oh you know, women who are in domestic violent relationships are women with addictions or problems and she is the face of the truth, that these women aren't like that,” said Shewfelt.
Auffrey says what they do at Discovery House is very important but she sees another urgent need.
“We provide safe shelter for them, both at the shelter facility and through our community housing program but what we need beyond that is affordable housing,” she said.
For using her professional training and her personal experience in the battle to end family violence, Monique Auffrey is our inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)