It was 26 years ago, when as an impressionable teenager, I sat across from someone close to my mom and I, as she recalled her experience the evening before that changed my understanding of life and love.
I can only hope that most of us will never have to know what it is like to be hurt at the hands of someone who “loves” us, but on that fateful evening this woman (whose name I won’t include here to maintain her privacy) had that experience for the last time.
With extensive bruising along the left side of her body, she sat while pictures were taken as “evidence” to what had happened the night before…and this event was not shielded from my 16 year old eyes. Nor was the fact that this person (whom I’d known my entire life) had sought out refuge in an emergency women’s shelter overnight…for the first time, I realized she was a victim of abuse.
I often wondered over the years that followed, why my mom didn’t try to hide what had happened to this woman from me. We parents often filter the bad we see out there to “protect” our kids, but what I now understand is that by allowing me to participate in that moment, my mom WAS protecting me. She was allowing me to learn something you can’t learn from a text book or through a story passed on from one person to another. What I learned that day was…
1) Abusers don’t look like the “boogie man.” This man was someone I knew and trusted. He was funny, intelligent and always pleasant to be around…but that day, I learned he also abused his wife;
2) Many women are embarrassed and ashamed to tell friends and family of the abuse they experience and won’t seek out the help they need to get out of an abusive situation and will tolerate abuse for much longer than expected, leaving them in a high risk and often life-threatening situation;
3) There is a place for women to go that will provide a safe environment, free of judgement, that will provide the support needed to protect them from living with abuse.
I’m telling you this story because on November 10th, the 6th Annual Ami Jane FUNraiser is taking place at the George Traditional House in Okotoks and all of the money raised will go to Rowan House, a company with a mission to “provide crisis intervention, long-term support and education for those affected by family violence in rural communities.”
We at Hub Town have secured 15 tickets for this event and with 7 already given out, we have 8 more to give away! So, if you can stand hanging out with a bunch of beer nerds for a few hours, we will spend the evening enjoying live music and each others' company, in celebration of Ami's life and the money raised by ticket sales and the accompanying silent auction, we will help provide funding for Rowan House.
Help us fill our table and raise money and awareness so others affected by violence can find the help they need by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join us.
We're offering a BREW PARTY up for silent auction so if you want to brew beer with a bunch of your friends right in your house, you'll want to check it out!