Living in the far southeast corner of Saskatchewan, the nearest domestic violence shelter could be hours away.
Envision Counselling and Support Centre has released a shelter needs assessment survey to gather information regarding the necessity of a domestic violence shelter in our part of the province.
The closest shelters to Weyburn are in Regina and Moose Jaw, which could result in families who are fleeing abusive situations not being able to keep their jobs, stay enrolled in school, or make them isolated from family, friends, and support systems.
“We know from supporting people in these situations that it is needed, but this kind of gives us more concrete evidence that would prove that we do need to solidify some funding,” said Laura Melle, Assistant Executive Director of Envision Counselling and Support Centre.
Envision has received some responses to the survey.
“So far, we definitely hear a lot of how wonderful it would be to have support close to home for residents that live in the far southeast corner of Saskatchewan,” said Melle. “Because it is a hike to the closest shelter when people are needing to find safe housing.”
Melle said another issue people have brought up is the fact that some people who need to flee an abusive situation have pets.
“Some people with small animals also have a have a barrier and our goal is to also have our shelter be pet friendly.”
Melle said they have run into many situations where people stay in an unsafe situation because there is no shelter.
“There is support available, but it's so far away, and the alternative is to stay where it's unsafe, so I think that would be the biggest thing that I would want people to think about when we're moving forward.”
To take part in the survey click HERE.