Even on vacation Shelley Evans thinks of help and home. While visiting Mexico she headed for a friend’s book club, where Nahid Sewell, author of The Ruby Tear Catcher – An Iranian Woman’s Story of Intolerance, was a guest speaker.
Evans, supporter of Victoria Women’s Transition House and Victoria Golf Club member, immediately crafted a plan to share the book, and raise funds for critical programs.
“Although The Ruby Tear Catcher is set in Iran and covers a span of 30 years, the main character’s life experiences are still relevant in today’s world, where women continue to suffer from gender inequality, oppression and discrimination, regardless of their cultural background,” says Evans, event chair.
Evans even found corporate donations to cover costs, noted Susan Howard, development director Women’s Transition House. Funds raised by the event go toward the 18-bed shelter for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
“Funds will also be used to support our counselling programs,” Howard said.
They have three main client groups, women, older women and children that witness abuse.
“The needs of older women can be unique, older women may have a longer history of being exposed to domestic violence and abuse. With that length of time the counselling they need is different than what younger women require,” Howard said.
Each year Women’s Transition House helps more than 2,000 women and hundreds of children through the shelter, counselling or the 24-hour crisis and information line.
“Those are the statistics that are unfortunately constant and ongoing,” Howard said. “We are seeing in some areas of our counselling and services an increase … we’re not sure if that’s a result of more awareness of the issue or domestic abuse, of services available.”
“We have a telephone line that’s open all the time that will be answered by staff and trained volunteers,” she said. “A woman or family member can call anytime for help or resources.”
An Evening with Nahid Sewell, alongside a silent auction, wine and nibbles is Sept. 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Victoria Golf Club, 1110 Beach Dr. Tickets are $50 (with $25 tax receipt).