Back to School
William was seven years old when he began missing classes.
He would be at school one day, and then be gone for two or three days at a time. The excuse from home was that he was sick. His teacher grew concerned about her bright student. And rightly so.
William was staying home not because he didn’t like school, but because home was where his mother was. And home was where his mother’s abuser was. William felt compelled to skip school so he could protect his mother. The anxiety he felt during classes was unbearable. So he simply began telling his mother every morning that he felt too sick to go to school.
William, like many children in Waterloo Region, knows what it’s like to live in a home where his mother is assaulted or abused by her domestic partner or another family member. Sometimes William witnessed the violence. Other times, he heard it coming from downstairs as his mother and her partner fought in the living room, and William sobbed under his blankets.
Your financial support of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region helps William and the other children in our region as they head back to school. For some of them, leaving home is something that they dread. For others, school is a welcome relief from the turmoil and abuse at home.
The sad fact is that, for the children that we serve, any day of the year can be back to school day. When a mother and her children leave home, they often do so suddenly, without any notice. We have accepted mothers and children into our shelters in the middle of the night.
Sometimes, children come to our shelters from out of the region, or are required to leave our region for safety reasons. “New class, new teacher, new friends” takes on a whole different meaning when you and your mother have had to flee an abusive member of your own household.
At Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, we have dedicated Child and Youth workers who help to make this transition as stress-free and as safe as possible. This includes working with the school and the mother on a school safety plan. Our strong partnerships with local school boards is the key to our success in transitioning children to school. They are amazing to work with, and we value their cooperation and partnership.
We provide school supplies when needed. And we give our children lunches to take to school.
The results of all of this love and attention is that children and youth who use our shelters soon start to feel safe and secure. They realize quickly that mom is safe in the shelter, and that they can leave her for an entire day while they are at school.
Your support of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region ensures that we have the funds we need to take care of the children and youth in our care. Some of them started school at a new school this week. But some of the children that we help in the coming months will be heading to a new school, a new class and a new teacher in December. Or February. Or April.
Please stand with us as we stand by these children and youth. Your gift today helps us make school a safe and fun time for these young ones, regardless of what month it is.
PS. Thanks to the support of our donors, William and his mother left our shelter and moved into their own home. William’s mum has a job, and is doing well. And William can’t remember the last time he missed a class because he was sick.
Names and other details in this account have been changed to ensure the privacy and safety of our clients