Women's shelter in Carbonear opens
A new resource for women in abusive relationships is now ready to provide an escape for those who need it most.
O'Shaughnessy House in Carbonear will serve women in the local area who may be experiencing physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse at the hands of a partner.
The transition house, located in the former nunnery next to St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, is associated with Iris Kirby House in St. John's.
The official opening took place on Friday, and was attended by Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy, as well as Iris Kirby House executive director Gail Tobin.
Carbonear mayor Sam Slade says his town will do whatever it can to offer support to the new shelter for women and their children. “ We're going to be there to do that.” Slade expressed mixed feelings about the site. While he says it's great news O'Shaughnessy House will be available as an option for women and their children, he is equally disappointed such a place needs to exist in a society that should be well aware of the negative impact of all forms of abuse.
“ There's no way in the world we should have to have such a facility, but we've got it, and it's out there. We need to do what we can as a town and a council to educate people about abuse,” says Slade.
The site will offer a closer-to-home alternative for women in abusive relationships, who previously had to travel to St. John's and live at Iris Kirby House if they were seeking refuge from abuse.
According to Statistics Canada, over half of women over 16 years-of-age have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence, and in 2004 almost 60,000 women in Canada made use of a shelter.
Women in an abusive relationship seeking help can call a toll-free crisis line at 1-888-5968709.