DEATHRACE: AU Students Run to Help Abused Women – Eagle Shelter

S.L.A.P. Update

Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter

Residential services and 24 hour crisis line: Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter is a small but comfortable short term emergency facility whose purpose is to provide a safe, supportive environment for women and their children who are victims of family violence or who because of crisis situations find themselves in need of emergency lodging.

The facility has two programs in the same building with the shelter located in the lower portion of the building, while the top floor is dedicated to a receiving and assessment home for youth. As a result our facility does not have the high security systems that the larger city shelters have so we can only take women whose children are under the age of 13 and whose partners are not likely to follow them after they have left. Shelter clients are provided with: Lodging, food and laundry facilities; counselling, crisis intervention and emotional support; advocacy, referrals and emergency transportation. We also offer: Follow up outreach service for women leaving the shelter and outreach services for women who are not ready to leave their situations.

The Outreach program: The outreach program addresses the needs of women, men children who have experienced abuse and who are at risk of experiencing abuse.

The outreach worker will:
“¢ Provide counselling for pre-contemplative clients in a non residential setting
“¢ Provide follow up services to residential clients
“¢ Provide support and referrals to assist clients in meeting instrumental needs
“¢ Provide court support as necessary
“¢ Provide advocacy to clients in all areas e.g. housing, social services, child welfare etc
“¢ Provide solution focused empowerment counselling to clients as needed.
“¢ Develop topics and facilitate support groups

In the period of January 1st 2003 to October 1st 2005 Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter accommodated approximately 272 women and their children in our tiny shelter and turned away about 251 women and children due to a compromise of safety or because we were full at the time of their call.

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We are five normal, everyday ladies, all mums and two grandmothers, in training for this year’s Canadian Death Race, a gruelling endurance race of 125km spanning over 24 hours and covering three mountains in Grande Cache, Alberta.

Why would we put ourselves through this? To raise money for Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter in the Foothills of Alberta, raise awareness, and help stamp out domestic violence. We have never tried anything like this but feel very strongly that domestic violence is out of control and needs to be addressed. Now.

It’s a frightening fact that almost everyone knows someone who has been a victim of either physical or mental domestic abuse. We believe that increased exposure can help make victims aware that there are numbers they can call for help, and there is no need to suffer any longer. We also feel that domestic abuse and violence is a taboo subject that no one likes to acknowledge and this needs to change. Victims feel humiliated and ashamed and we need to let them know it is ok to talk to someone and to get help.

We are now in full training for the race, and although before this all any of us had ever run was a bath and a temperature, we are determined to do as much as we can to help stop domestic violence. This is a very hard and gruelling race, but with the help and support from each other we hope to complete it and to raise as much money as possible for the shelter. If our hard work only helps one person get out of a frightening situation and gives them the strength to rebuild their life, then it will all have been worth it. Our team name is SLAP – Stop Letting Abuse Prevail. We have a team website with photos and information on each runner and about the shelter: http://www.runforsafety.bravehost.com

We hope you will support us in our quest to stop domestic violence. The race takes place on the August long weekend, beginning Saturday the 5th at 8am and ending Sunday the 6th at 8am. Only 19 weeks to go!!! AU student, mother and death-racer, Kim Anderson.

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