Domestic violence has been on the rise throughout the pandemic and one ministry is taking a God-centered approach to helping women through to the other side.
"Because of the population of ladies we tend to deal with, our highest population, violence against them have been pretty standardly high because of the drug use, unhealthy relationships, getting involved with people for the wrong reasons," says Loriann Tulk, the manager at the Charis Centre, an extension of Union Gospel Mission (UGM).
She shares that there are a select few women that come through their doors that haven't experienced domestic violence in one way or another.
"The increase in violence that people are seeing [over the pandemic] is probably from women who are living with their partners."
Recently the government of Manitoba announced they are investing $450,000 to develop and deliver a Shelter Support Foundations micro-credential training program that will alleviate the chronic staff shortages at family violence and homeless shelters. As the Charis Centre is known for helping women through addictions, Tulk doesn't think their ministry will fall under the category to receive any of this funding.
"The Charis Centre is a women's residential treatment program, Biblically-based. Women can stay with us anywhere from just over 30 days to up to two years depending on what program they're in. During that time they work on their recovery from addictions."
The centre helps women reach the deeper causes of addictions, rather than just look at their habits.
"We do a lot of trauma-based counselling. When we're focusing on their recovery, we don't just focus on drugs or alcohol. We focus on the root of what caused the addiction, which is always trauma. We start to get to what actually happened in their life that caused them to need to numb everything."
Ways to Pray
Tulk asks for people to pray over the staff working with the women, often one-on-one.
"For staff, pray for wisdom, discernment, and that we follow the Holy Spirit's guidance. We're not just another treatment program. We believe our program makes a difference because we're Christ-centered."
For women coming into the centre, Tulk asks people to pray that "the Lord sends the women who need to be here and that He prepares them to be here."
Facing past trauma or even experiencing genuine love for the first time can cause women to be frightened and leave.
"It's not easy, what we're doing with them is not easy. We're saying, 'Take away the drugs and alcohol and whatever you used to numb the pain. Now, we want you to start looking at that and peeling back the layers of trauma that you've experienced, probably since childhood in a lot of cases.' Their brain just wants to go back to drugs and numbing things. It's a tough process and the nature of addiction is a revolving door."
Tulk asks that people pray for the women who are facing those issues can find the strength through God to stay.
"They have so many things they're trying to overcome, so pray that they can overcome it. Pray that they will rely on the Lord to get them through it and that He is the answer. We can't do anything on our own. Anything we want to do well and to be lasting, we have to depend on the Lord and His guidance for that."
Join CHVN for the Nobody But Jesus Radiothon all in support of Union Gospel Mission on June 15 and 16, 2022.