Haley, from Women's Shelter painted a sad picture of the domestic violence taking place in the Niagara Region.   We have a problem.
Family violence, which shatters lives and cost money is rampant.   Women's Place had to redirect close to 200 women and children in 2008 due to lack of space.   Since 1977, 18,000 women and children have lived at Women's Shelters.   The phone line is open 24/7 and received 4,500 crisis calls in 2008.   We have had 17 domestic related homicides since 1997.   Four children have been left motherless as result of domestic violence.
Women's Shelters are the only safe emergency shelters for abused women and children in Niagara Region.   The annual cost to operate the three shelters and support programs runs at 3.2 million dollars annually.   Family violence eats up 10% of the Niagara Regional Police's 115 million budget. 
Family violence costs an earth shattering 71 million dollars annually in the Niagara Region alone, through social services, education, criminal justice, lost labour, and medical expenses.
Abuse is about power and control, to isolate the victim from family and friends.   The victim is often hostage in her own home.   Abuse can be physical, psychological, spiritual, financial and sexual.  Women and children make up 95% of the domestic violence.
It is everyone's business to break this cycle, as 75% of abused children have a tendency to become abusers or to be abused as adults.   This cycle can only be broken via awareness and education - therefore it is EVERYONES' BUSINESS.
Haley, I thank you for this heart rendering presentation. It certainly was an eye opener for me.
Thank you very much for this presentation.