To Leave or Stay

For most people the decision to leave a relationship which is abusive or remain in the relationship is a very personal one. Some women may leave more than once, subsequently returning to the relationship. Some women believe that living within the relationship, they are at least aware of what is going on with their partner. For others, they are prepared to do everything and anything to start a new life free from violence despite the fact that leaving the relationship may continue to bring about feelings of fear and uncertainty. However, you are not alone and help is available.

Whether you are considering leaving for the first time or the last, the decision is yours and yours alone. There are a number of individuals and services which may be helpful during this time. Depending on your needs (financial, emotional, physical, etc.) you may wish to seek assistance from a councillor, perhaps the justice system or feel the need to go into a secure, staffed women's shelter.

Councillors can provide you with emotional support, practical help with issues such as income, accommodation, training and education, daycare, etc. Programs such as "Women in Transition" provided by Riverside Family Violence Service and the Atikokan Crisis Centre are available to you.

If, however, you feel you want the security of a shelter, the Atikokan Crisis Centre is the women's shelter for the Rainy River District. The toll free number (1-800-465-3348) provides 24-hour support for partners experiencing violence and will arrange for women who call to come into the shelter if needed. Transportation can be arranged by the shelter staff, the building is secure, and staff are on duty 24 hours a day. Your children are welcome in the shelter and special programs are available for them as well.

The decision is yours, but the support of others is always available.