More than a year after her daughter was killed in a case of domestic violence, an Edmonton woman is breaking her silence with the message it could happen to anyone.
Brenda Schienmann’s daughter, Kristi, died at the age of 30 — the victim of a homicide through domestic violence.
“Kristi was the sunshine of our family and the sparkle,” Schienmann said. “She always had a smile and always made us laugh.”
Kristi was found dead in a north Edmonton apartment in March 2017. Her husband, Timothy Crowe, pleaded guilty to manslaughter this month and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
“No number of years would be enough for me, but we are satisfied with the outcome in that it does allow us to have some peace and get some closure from this,” Schienmann said.
While planning her daughter’s celebration of life, the family decided to find a cause to support in Kristi’s memory. They settled on Edmonton’s Wings of Providence women’s shelter, which provides long-term housing to women and their children.
The facility just completed a new youth centre, known as the Home Next Door Youth Room, which was in need of additional funding.
“The children will have groups here with a youth worker where they get an opportunity to talk about their feelings, have some fun, bond with each other in a very safe environment,” said Patricia Garrett, executive director at Wings.
The Schienmann family took care of decorating, furnishing and supplying the space, all while channeling Kristi’s unique sense of design.
“Kristi was all about the sparkle but she also wanted to be comfortable. She wanted (a place) where people could come in and feel like they could put their feet up on the couch,” Schienmann said. “That’s what my plan was for this space for the kids.”
The room is intended to provide refuge from difficult domestic situations.
“Anybody watching this who is maybe in a domestic violent situation is going to see that and say, ‘There are places out there where I can go. I don’t need to put up with this,” Schienmann said.
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