Help, Hope and a Future Without Fear | Red Door Family Shelter

Help, Hope and a Future Without Fear

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When 37-year-old Aamiina met her second husband she thought, “This is good.”


They shared a similar culture and belief system and when they married she was confident that she was creating a safe and stable home for her two children. (She and her first husband are still on good terms.)


But she soon discovered that shared culture played a role in the relationship she hadn’t anticipated.


Her husband was the youngest in a household of women – his dad had passed away – and his family expected a traditional marriage, that Aamiina would cook and clean for them, as well as for her husband and kids.


I wasn’t going to do that – and they told him again and again and again that I was not the ideal woman for him,” she says. “He would visit his mom and sisters, and they would tell him how awful I was, how unwilling I was to be a proper wife, and he would come home mad.


There were always words. “He thought I should be submissive and be at his beck and call.”


But one Thursday, he struck out with more than words. 


Aamiina had picked up the children from swimming lessons and when she arrived home, her husband started a volley of verbal abuse – and then punched her square in the face and into the closet.


That was more than enough.


Aamiina called the police, who arrived, took pictures and arrested him. The case is still in the courts.


Aamiina had heard about Intimate Partner Violence and promised herself, “This will not be me.


She called for help and was referred to Red Door. Staff listened and told her to pack some clothes for herself and her children – now – and come.


Because of the kindness and commitment of people like you, families find the resources they need at the Red Door to heal and rebuild their lives.


I got out of the taxi, and as I walked to the door, the intake worker greeted me with a huge hug,” Aamiina remembers.


She unravelled me. I cried and let out everything I had held in and thought, ‘Maybe this won’t be so bad’.”


Staff helped them secure a safe and affordable home, with the household things they needed for a fresh start on the life they deserved, violence-free. 


Then, Aamiina was ready to take the next big leap to becoming her authentic self: she’s studying for her Early Childhood Education diploma at George Brown with plans to follow with an Early Childhood Studies BA at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).


Aamiina and her children continue to receive support from Red Door – the kids especially enjoy the art program – and today, she says, she is a whole and happy woman.

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