Val Hiebert from MCC Canada says they have emerging research showing that intimate partner abuse and child abuse have both gone up during COVID lockdowns.
They will be hosting a few events this month about domestic abuse and the effects you can experience if you were abused in childhood.
They are hosting these events to be able to assist victims through their journey of healing.
“So this has become an even more pressing issue right now, and we just want to reach out to the public and say ‘we know this stuff happens, there is good information for you out there. Can we be part of helping you work through what's going on?’”
Hiebert often hears people say things like “I wouldn't call it abuse, but he does this,” or, “I wouldn't call it abuse, but she does this.”
She wants to help people understand that abuse doesn’t have to be physical to be abuse.
“You can so profoundly psychologically abuse someone that they're going to carry that trauma for the rest of their life, even though you never actually physically abused them.”
She says the first step to healing is finding somebody you trust who will believe you when you confide in them.
On the other hand, she stresses that it’s also important to believe someone when they come to you.
"That's one of the real challenges. We never want to believe that about someone else, that they could harm someone that we love or that someone we love could harm someone.”
She says that healing can happen when you are ready to listen to victims of abuse.
“Can we be the kind of person where someone says ‘I think I could tell him. I think I could tell her.’ Can we be that person?
MCC Manitoba has three different events they are holding that are a part of the Domestic Violence Awareness Series this month. The events are as follows:
Intimate Partner Abuse
Debunking myths and fostering healing. Presented by Jaymie Friesen on Monday, November 7 from 7-8:30pm. At the Pat Porter Active Living Centre. Admission is free, coffee & tea provided.
Childhood Abuse Victims & Witnesses
Short & long-term effects. Presented by Val Hiebert on Monday, November 21 from 7pm-8:30pm. At the Pat Porter Active Living Centre. Admission is free, coffee & tea provided.
Pastoral Care & Domestic Violence. November 22, from 9am-4pm. The focus of the event will be on equipping pastors with good ways to respond when they're aware of some form of domestic violence in a household. At the Evangelical Fellowship Church. $50 registration fee, lunch & refreshments provided.
For more information on these events visit their website.