Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, and you may or may not be aware of it. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked, excused, minimized, or denied.
According to a report done by CBC, in almost two decades, never before have the Windsor Police reported a higher number of domestic violence cases in the area than in 2020.
An annual report released by Windsor Police stated that 681 incidents of family violence were reported in 2020. That is a 20 per cent increase versus the year prior and almost 20 per cent higher than the five-year average.
For survivor and Court and Client Representative for the Ministry of Attorney General, Naomi Blake, after being open about her own personal story, she is empowered daily by the people who reach out to her to share their stories in hopes to get advice or just to simply relate.
"My story is a detailed one to tell. I can't even tell it in its entirety because so many hours, days, months, years equal way too many situations and experiences," she explains. "In a brief synopsis, I can say I was beaten, dislocated, disfigured, broken, laid out naked into the cold, isolated and felt like a tortured prisoner in a cell called my marriage."
After she found victory in a very lengthy trial process in Michigan, Blake's ex-husband didn't serve a full sentence, but the media attention and shame brought towards him was enough justice for her.
"Women are statistically more likely to face domestic violence, yes. Men, or however you identify as, is problematic as well. I believe the focus and importance of women are because the statistics are higher for abuse," she says. "With fewer resources, women also have the statistics to care for children if applicable, which creates more difficult situations to leave, be without shelter for themselves and their kids and without food.
Blake's advice to anyone going through something similar to her or any type of domestic violence is to push through with will and determination as hard as you can.
"If you can withstand those emotional and physical beatings, try to remain as best as humanly possible to withstand the interrogations, cross-examinations, trial dates, adjourned trial dates, through and through and always know if you can't go through that entire gruelling process, you HAVE NOT failed," she shares. "Pressing a charge creates a history of violent behaviour and events. This will help future victims." #DVRegistry
Sharing that her fur babies and the women at her work empower her daily, Blake says we all have different stories to tell.
"We see the traumas of this city, of this world, of this life, and we then succumb to it and tell our own stories of relation to the things we see in court. It's terrifying and comforting as to how much you can relate to what happens in this city," she says. "People who message me empower me; their messages of encouragement, and personal stories and seeking advice with hope, young people empower me, with a different outlook on what it's like in their generation to live and battle things differently than what I may have."
If you or anyone you know is struggling with domestic violence, please check out the support links below: