Anne

Anne2017-01-23T21:57:13+00:00

CWWA photo 2“CWWA saved me. I felt broken and like I was falling apart the first time I walked through the door and now I’m strong and have my life back together,” Anne says.
When Anne* phoned the Children Who Witness Abuse (CWWA) program to inquire about counselling for her daughter, she was told the wait would be six months. The counsellors couldn’t keep up with the high demand from the community.

The goal of CWWA and all the programs within it are to intervene in the life of a child to interrupt and prevent the intergenerational cycle of violence from continuing.

Two years ago, United Way began funding a group program through CWWA called Changing the Cycle, which allows the non-offending parent share their struggles, healing journey and parenting questions with their peers. Because of this funding CWWA was able to get the waitlist to zero for the first time in 25 years.

“Supporting the non-offending parent helps manage the situation. A strong parent results in strong kids,” says Wendy Gruneberg, the coordinator of CWWA.

By creating the group program, families no longer have to wait months to get one-on-one service. For some families, the long wait would be too much for them and they would no longer have the opportunity to leave the violent situation.

“The first group I went to I met this amazing, strong woman who impressed me with how she had it all together and I remember thinking I wish I was like that woman,” says Anne. “The group was the best thing that happened to me.”

Unfortunately, the low waitlist was not sustainable as awareness of the program grew. This year, United Way was able to step in with more funding for CWWA so they could hire a second coordinator, which is allowing them to serve an extra 14 children per week. Despite the long wait lists and the increase in domestic violence in our community CWWA is doing its best to change the cycle one family and one child at a time. Anne and her daughter are an example of that.

“Often times, when we get a phone call from a non-offending parent they are desperate and need help right away,” Gruneberg explains. “With Changing the Cycle group programming, instead of telling them they have to wait 6-12 months before we can help them they can be serviced right away.”

“CWWA saved me. I felt broken and like I was falling apart the first time I walked through the door and now I’m strong and have my life back together,” Anne says.

*Name changed for privacy
*Pictured above are the  CWWA program coordinators (Wendy and Jessica) showing off artwork created by program participants