My Experience at The Transition House as a CFCS Practicum Student

My initial assumptions were of a house filled with women who are visibly bruised and battered, petrified of leaving the house for fear of seeing the abuser and experiencing the trauma all over again. A place where women and children had no voice and who were faced with unbearable rules and regulations which acted as a barrier against them moving forward in the change process.

Instead, what I encountered were staff and volunteers all advocating for women and children who are taking the steps in healing and creating a better life for themselves.

At Victoria Women’s Transition House, I see myself as being an advocate in the daily lives of women, with or without children, with whom I am offering my service; an opportunity to participate in supporting that transition to a life free from violence and abuse.

Looking from a feminist model, my experience at the Transition House, as a practicum student, is that of an environment filled with staff partaking on a daily basis as an advocate and activist, being that active voice for the women and children who are accessing their services. Services done in an effort to find applicable resources and supports needed in addressing the needs of these women and children in the hope of alleviating that extra stress associated with fleeing violent and abusive relationships.

My placement at Victoria Women’s Transition House aided in expanding my view on advocacy especially for the women and children of violence and abuse who I have observed within the house.

The knowledge gained in this placement, during both direct and indirect contact with staff, volunteers, and residents as well as through the study of available literature, inspired me in taking a more active role in being that extra support needed for the women and children of the house to take that next step of freedom.

Taking the first step towards change is often a challenge and can be scary in any individual’s life, but for women and children who are fleeing violent and abusive relationships it is more frightening when uncertainty and despair can be road blocks on their journey to a life free of violence and abuse.

As a student enrolled in the Community Family and Child Studies (CFCS) program at Camosun, on my way to acquiring a career in the Human Service Field where one of the practicing principle is to do “no harm”, being placed at the Transition Houses to fulfill my last year practicum was a dream come true for me and this opportunity gave me a bird’s eye view of some of the many faces of “the hidden monster” violence and abuse within our communities, faces I will now recognize as I proceed in my journey in becoming a CFCS practitioner.

Thank you Transition House for this great opportunity!

Juliana Negraeff, Practicum Student

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