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Barriers to Leaving

The following are some barriers to leaving:

  • limited access to information (e.g. legal rights) and support services (e.g. transition houses, crisis centres) for women in isolated and  minority communities
  • lack of transportation services
  • loss of kinship ties, support network, cultural community, and sense of identity
  • strong community loyalities and distrust of other systems

If services are accessible, women often face other barriers and concerns, including:

  • fear of being misunderstood by support staff
  • lack of resources for treatment or support
  • feeling that services are not suited to their culture
  • misunderstanding and/or fear of the justice system and law enforcement officials
  • lack of anonymity in seeking services on reserves, which are usually very small communities
  • reluctance to involve a justice system that is seen as racist

For more information, see Making Changes, 9th edition