A $45,000 grant from the Shuswap Community Foundation (SCF) helped the SAFE Society’s Transition House with the construction of three indoor heated and cooled dog kennels with access to an outdoor run for each dog. From left, Lindsay Wong, SCF; Paige Hilland, SAFE Society; Jaylene Bourdon, SAFE Society; Jane Shirley, SAFE Society; Ineke Hughes, SCF; Judy Moore, SCF; with dogs Tulah and Loki. (Contributed)

A $45,000 grant from the Shuswap Community Foundation (SCF) helped the SAFE Society’s Transition House with the construction of three indoor heated and cooled dog kennels with access to an outdoor run for each dog. From left, Lindsay Wong, SCF; Paige Hilland, SAFE Society; Jaylene Bourdon, SAFE Society; Jane Shirley, SAFE Society; Ineke Hughes, SCF; Judy Moore, SCF; with dogs Tulah and Loki. (Contributed)

Year in Review: Kindness provides hope, empowerment for those impacted by violence

SAFE Society executive director Jane Shirley reflects on 2021, looks to year ahead

  • Dec. 25, 2021 1:00 p.m.

By Jane Shirley, executive director, SAFE Society

As I take time to reflect on this past year I am overwhelmed with an intense range of emotions.

First, the reason that I (we) can continue our work is the kindness that continues to be in people’s hearts as we navigate a life living with a ongoing world pandemic.

The Shuswap community has united and stays strong supporting families who access SAFE programming. This kindness translates into hope and empowerment for those negatively impacted by violence.

It takes a community to step up and speak out to end domestic violence/sexual assault.

In 2021, our agency was able to increase support services for survivors of sexual assault. With community support we began building our pet shelter and opened up the Human Connection HUB, a storefront where people can access resources, support, clothing and much more.

For me there is also sadness, as people become more isolated from friends, families and support systems. Violence is amplified in an already stressful home life. Research suggests domestic abuse escalates during natural disasters and pandemics.

Read more:‘Pretty remarkable’: SAFE Society offers new expanded response to sexual assaults

Read more: Grant to support women with pets in Salmon Arm transition house

With these thoughts and emotions in mind, I humbly send out admiration to all who have the strength to call our support services, or any, during your time of need. Your voice will be heard!

I send out thank you’s to the community who so caringly supports the work that we do to end violence in the Shuswap. I send out gratitude for the SAFE Society staff who work tirelessly supporting those in need, and I wish to thank the SAFE board of directors – without their leadership we would not exist.

No one is immune to violence. It can happen to anyone, so please call 250-832-9616 for 24-hour support.

In 2022, we will continue to be “Making a positive difference in the lives of many through collaboration, commitment and positive community connections.”


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