A text written by a community worker of La Méridienne. This text was published in L’Éveil du Citoyens de Weedon, Le Papotin de Dudswell and Le Reflet du canton de Lingwick.
If you could see my house as I see it, you would understand how important it is to all the women who have intered it.
My house is big; it is the one of an aypical blended family. We are often crowded there, existences collide there, but we learn to feel well.
Its kitchen has experienced the most intimate sharing, late conversations and shopping for the children’s lunch boxes in the morning. In the center of the table, there is often a bouquet of flowers – except that this one is free; he didn’t pay for himself with another bruise or a broken plate.
Its living room is warm, people crowd there for the Saturday movie or the Sunday morning cartoons. The biggest crises he has known are those of a child having a tantrum, because an adult has never dared to raise his voice. The only tears her couch has ever held are the ones you shed at the end of a romantic comedy. If you drop popcorn between your cushions, no one makes a drama out of it.
When you walk in its corridors where the doors never slam, you feel good. The children race there, without anyone feeling the need to tell them to laugh less loudly so as not to disturb them. They play in the yard, fearlessly, and their personalities bloom. The only injuries they risk are those you get in a sandbox. Nothing that a béqué-bobo can’t fix.
Its rooms are real sanctuaries where you can rest; no one is ever afraid of seeing their body become the scene of the crime. We read stories there, really rest there and erect blanket forts.
Under my roof, we learn autonomy, respect for our limits and to give ourselves the right to be as we are. We reconnect with long-buried dreams and with our identity, once the fear is gone.
If in your house, the doors slam and the objects break, I will open my door to you. If you are afraid of making a mistake, of suffering reprisals for an argument that you nevertheless wanted to avoid, I will try to understand what happened with you. If your house seems gloomy to you, that the children no longer laugh there, I will offer you comfort and security.
My house is big; that’s good because in a quarter of homes in Canada, we don’t feel as good as at home.
My house probably looks like yours, minus the violence.
Shelter for women and children
victims of domestic violence