Eve found her way to the West Island Women’s Shelter (WIWS) at a point in her life when she needed it most.
The non-profit aims to eliminate conjugal violence and its impact on women and children.
“If I divorced him, he used to tell me that he would leave me in the streets. He would take away my child because I was depressed,” Eve, whose last name is being withheld for safety reasons, told Global News.
“He used to say he will give me no money. I wasn’t working so I was so afraid. Where are you going to go? I cannot go live in the streets because I have a kid.”
Her daughter brought home a pamphlet for the shelter one day, and Eve saw it as a sign.
Eve is one of hundreds of women who seek help for themselves and their children from the shelter each year.
“It can be a few days for a break, it can be a few weeks, it can be a few months,” explained Julie, a WIWS counsellor.
“We go with the needs of the family. In our second-stage house, it can go up to 21 months. I can follow a woman for two years if it need be.”
WATCH BELOW: ‘Because I Didn’t Tell’: A domestic abuse survivor details her experience
Demand for help is so high that there is sometimes a wait list.
“Sadly, there is a lot of demand. At one point, there was a nine-month waiting list,” said Beverly, a WIWS board member.
To raise money, the shelter is hosting a “Pumps and Pearls” gala at the Château-Vaudreuil Hotel hosted by Global senior anchor Jamie Orchard.
—With files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez