One in three women are beaten or raped in their lifetime; that’s one billion women (United Nations). Some would say that is a pandemic. In Canada alone, more than 3000 women (along with 2500 children) are living in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Each year, over 427,000 women over the age of 15 reported they have been sexually assaulted. Since only about 10% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher. You might be wondering what kind of people are trying to prevent these women from becoming statistics and who work with them after they do become one of those statistics. Cheryl Nowshadi, a child and youth counselor, is one of these people. At any given time on her case load, she could be working with a seven year old boy who has watched his mother be beaten by his father, a sixteen year old girl who is in foster care because it is no longer safe for her to be at home, or a ten year old girl who talks about suicide because of the violence and trauma she has experienced. These stories and many more make these statistics all too real, each one has a face, has a story, and is much more than a number to this counselor.
Mrs. Nowshadi is a child and youth counselor at the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society in Duncan, British Columbia. This agency is a non-profit organization that works with women and children who have experienced violence and/or abuse. She has an undergraduate degree of a Bachelor of Arts and a post graduate degree of a Masters of Counseling Psychology. These degrees, combined with life experience, make her very good at her job. You may be wondering what makes a person want to choose this career path. For Mrs. Nowshadi, it was simple; she has always been interested in helping people. She had always liked working with children and wanted to be able to help them when they were experiencing trouble. When it came to working with people who have experienced violence, she knew it was what she...
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