Updated: Jan 16
We recently sat down with shelter client Olivia* to hear her story and learn more about what brought her to the Family Support Centre.
Olivia has struggled with addiction for most of her life. She used drugs and alcohol regularly. She had attended a rehab program in Saskatoon, but eventually relapsed. When she lived in the south, she moved around from town to town, before arriving in Hay River in 2016.
In Hay River, she met a man and immediately fell in love. Within months, they moved in together. Soon, Olivia and her boyfriend began using drugs and drinking together. Then, Olivia’s boyfriend started becoming violent towards her.
At first, Olivia thought the violence were one-off incidents. But as time went on, the violent outbursts became more frequent. And her injuries became more severe.
By 2017, the violence Olivia suffered became a normal part of her life. She began fearing for her life and for her safety. She realized she had to leave. But she couldn’t think of anywhere to go. Alone and desperate for safe place to stay, Olivia began looking for shelters in Hay River. She learned about the Family Support Centre and gave us a call. She checked in just a couple of hours later.
Olivia says that her experience at the Family Support Centre was really positive. “I felt safe,” she says. “It was really nice to have a place like this when I had nowhere else to go.”
Though Olivia ended up only staying at the Family Support Centre for a short period of time, she says she would encourage others in a similar situation as hers to use the centre for support.
When asked what advice she has for others who might be in a similar situation as her own, Olivia says, “Ask for help. There’s help out there. And actually use it. Things can change for the better.” Olivia knows this firsthand. When she left the Family Support Centre, she sobered up. Shortly after that, she found out she was pregnant. From there, her life began to straighten out. Today, Olivia has a toddler and has a positive outlook on the direction her life is going.
The Family Support Centre needs your help to support women like Olivia, who depend on our services every day. Please give now to help provide a safe-haven and support for women and children in our community.
*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the subject’s privacy.