Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis marked International Women’s Day (today) with an event this morning featuring two inspiring individuals. Lia Grimanis, an internationally recognized businesswomen and philanthropist, left an abusive home as a teenager. She promised herself at the time that she would rebuild her life and help homeless women and children. She has founded Up With Women, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and children rebuild their lives.
Briar Rose also spoke. Briar is 10. She was born in a women’s shelter. She is the youngest finalist for Canada’s Top 20 under 20 and is now an Up With Women child advocate.
Between today and March 28th, any funds donated on a special Up With Women website will be matched by Lia and donated to the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (up to $5000.00).
Last year, Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis sheltered and/or supported 1,400 women and 148 children. In addition to face-to-face counselling and support services, there were more than 8000 phone calls to the 24-hour crisis line in 2009, almost twice the calls from 2008. Since 2006, domestic violence occurences have increased 6.4% in the City of Guelph and the rate of domestic violence offences (where charges are laid by the police) in the City of Guelph is above the provincial average.