Message from the Executive Director
Challenging Economic Times
In recent months, the media coverage of the economic downturn has been widespread but its impact on domestic abuse is rarely mentioned. We know that tough economic times hit domestic violence victims especially hard – for many reasons:
- Money problems can be a trigger for addictions; alcohol and drugs, although they do not cause domestic violence, often play a significant role in the severity of domestic abuse.
- Financial pressures can exacerbate existing abuse situations, and the stress of lost jobs can be used as further excuses for violence against family members.
- Rising unemployment rates lead to economic uncertainty, making it more difficult for women to leave abusive situations.
According to the 2006 Census, approximately 1 in 8, or 112,500 residents face or are at risk of facing economic hardship. This represents an increase of 55% from the 2001 Census.
As the economic downturn took hold this past year, demand for our services increased. Unfortunately, our private donors are tightening their budgets and giving less just when our services are stretched to their limits. We need your support more than ever.
Yellow Brick House is fighting to maintain critical services, and we also face the challenge of preparing for the continued growth we anticipate in York Region’s population.
Our Capital Campaign to establish a second shelter would be challenging enough in good economic times. But we must forge ahead. Waiting to increase our capacity is not an option for the women and children who need a safe place of refuge. The shelter provides them with an opportunity to save their lives – we cannot possibly put that on hold.