“Draw on your inner resources and find who you are”

Jul 4, 2023

At Alice House, we take pride in witnessing the transformative healing journeys of women and children who have been exposed to intimate partner violence. In this post, we are sharing the achievements of Sara, a former resident who defied multiple barriers to rebuild her family's life. Sara's story is a testament to her unwavering resilience in the face of adversity.

Sara and her children sought refuge at Alice House after arriving in Nova Scotia, escaping significant violence and abuse from her husband. Sara encountered a multitude of challenges, including the demanding responsibilities of motherhood, navigating complex systems based on nationality, language barriers, and financial hardships. Alongside her own trauma symptoms, navigating these intersecting systemic barriers was a difficult journey.

Recognizing the utmost importance of immediate and ongoing safety for Sara and her family, Alice House engaged in extensive collaboration with community organizations and governmental entities to create a secure environment in our Safe Housing Program. Sara worked closely with our Women’s Support Counsellor, while the children worked with our Healing Hearts Counsellor, processing the trauma they had been exposed to. Building trust and fostering relationships between the family and our dedicated staff became paramount in nurturing their journey of recovery.

Throughout their time at Alice House, Sara and her family achieved successes despite the daunting challenges and system inequities they encountered. By the end of their stay with Alice House, they had secured safe and independent long-term housing, accomplished impressive academic and social achievements, and flourished within the community. Reflecting on her transformative journey, Sara expressed gratitude for the support she received at Alice House. "The supports provided by Alice House have been life-changing, allowing me to grow as a woman and to heal," she shared. “You need to draw on your inner resources and find who you are outside of the abusive relationship."

Sara emphasized the specialized support services at Alice House, stating that they were “invaluable, providing services that were tailored to my needs. I was supported in accessing services through the Halifax Refugee Clinic, provided with access to an interpreter, food security, access to legal support, and supported in so many other ways. The staff felt like family, supporting me in all the ways I needed.”

Sara's story illustrates the strength and determination of a mother, friend, and daughter, and acts as a reminder of what is possible when survivors are supported in realizing their potential to live full and meaningful lives. As we honor Sara's achievements, we celebrate the courage and resilience of all survivors, reaffirming our commitment to creating a society in which every person can live a life without fear or threat of abuse.

*Please note that the name has been changed to protect privacy.