Frequently Asked Questions
The Archway Society for Domestic Peace transition house is a safe haven for women and children who have experienced abuse or at risk of abuse. Perhaps you have questions about the support you will receive, how to find us, or about your safety? Here you will find answers to many common questions.
If you are unable to find answers to your questions here or need further information, please feel free to contact us at (250) 542-1122. Someone will be more than happy to assist you.
What do I need to bring with me if I decide to leave my abusive situation
Depending on how much time and opportunity you have to gather things, you might want to consider bringing along as many of the following items as possible.
- Birth Certificates for you and your children
- Health cards
- SIN (Social Insurance Number) cards
- School and medical records, including the telephone numbers of the school and your family doctor or clinic
- Money, bankbooks, cheque book and credit cards
- Keys – house, car, office
- Driving license and car registration documents
- Prescribed medication and vitamin supplements
- Court orders
- Social Assistance documents
- Passports, visas and work permits, immigration papers
- Mortgage details or lease and rental agreements
- Current unpaid bills
- Insurance documents
- Address book
- Family photographs, your diary, jewelry, small items of sentimental value
- Your children’s favorite items of clothing and small toys
- Toiletries and clothes for you and your children
Am I able to bring my children?
Yes, and it would be in a women’s best interest to have her children with her.
Am I able to bring my pet(s)?
Staff at the transition house will try to assist with finding safe shelter for pets, but unfortunately at this time we are not able to keep pets on site.
Is there a cost?
No. We are a Non-Profit Society and receive funding from the government, therefore the services of the Vernon women’s transition house are completely FREE OF CHARGE.
How do I get to the transition house? Is transportation provided?
If you are in immediate danger, simply contact the Vernon Police Department – 911 and they know where we are located. If you are not in immediate danger, we encourage you to contact our transition house at (250) 542-1122. Our staff will be able to answer many of your questions and, in some cases (if you live within Vernon city limits), transportation can be arranged for you.
Do I need a restraining order? If so, how do I obtain one?
You do not need to have a restraining order, but in the event that you should require one, our staff can assist you in seeking one.
How long can I stay at the transition house?
The transition house is designed for short term stays. The length will vary depending on your situation but an average stay is usually 30 days.
LIFE AT THE SHELTER
Am I allowed to leave the transition house during my stay?
Women are free to come and go from the transition house while staying here. However, there is an evening curfew.
Will staff be able to assist me in finding other accommodations?
It is the responsibility of each woman to find her own accommodations in preparation of leaving the transition house. However, our staff are here to support and to answer any of your questions. We are here not only to provide you with safe shelter but also to help you with resources, referrals and other forms of support.
Is there ongoing counselling once I move to another location?
Yes – Our organization offers free women’s counselling services to women who have experienced relationship abuse. Also, transition house staff can provide you with referral numbers to community services upon leaving the house.
Where do I go after my stay at the transition house?
Some women find another rental in the community, some women leave the area and/or province, and some women return to their family home.
If I have no money and no job, how do I set up other living accommodations (i.e. furniture, dishes, beds, etc.)?
The transition house can assist with household items from our community donations (free of charge) like dishes, bedding etc. Staff may also refer to other organizations for bigger items such as living room furniture, beds, dressers, etc.
Will the transition house assist me in accessing Social Assistance?
Yes – transition house staff can assist you with the process, as well as provide access to a computer.
SHELTERS + YOUR CHILDREN
Do my children and I have to share a room with anyone else?
No. The Vernon transition house has a number of rooms for use by women and their children.
How will my child(ren) spend their time at the transition house?
We have an indoor play area that is equipped with toys, books, and a television. There are also a number of children’s videos for their viewing enjoyment. We also have an outdoor play area, which is fully fenced and locked for security.
Will my child(ren) still be able to attend school while at the transition house?
Yes – However, it is up to moms to arrange transportation to and from school, if required.
Your safety is our priority!
What is a ‘Safety Plan’ and how can I make one?
Our staff will assist you to safety plan. Again, we are here to support you and provide you with the tools you need to be safe. Also, refer to the link ‘When a Woman is Being Abused’.
Will my partner be able to find me?
Vernon women’s transition house has many safety precautions in place to ensure your safety during your stay. Our staff are highly trained and will not speak to anyone about your stay without your permission. The transition house is locked throughout the day and night and is monitored by an alarm system. We are also staffed 24 hours a day. Only people with whom you want contact will be permitted to see and/or speak with you.
Can I give the shelter’s address to friends & family while I am staying there?
Due to ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ nature of the shelter, and to preserve our anonymity, it is advisable that the actual physical location is not revealed to the general public. This ensures the safety of our residents and staff, which is of the highest priority of the transition house. A telephone is available for use by the clients and that number may be given to family members, employers, prospective landlords, and/or close friends who need to remain in contact with the resident.