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Sharing circle held for violence survivors
Native Women's Association gives space for people affected crime to speak

Emelie Peacock
Northern News Services
Monday, June 5, 2017

It can be very hard for people who have experienced violence or crime to speak up. Cecilia Wood knows this well, after experiencing the violent death of members of her family.

NNSL photograph

Marie Speakman, left, and Yvonne Doolittle attend a sharing circle May 31 in Yellowknife. - Emelie Peacock/NNSL photo

"It's hard to go to someone and trust someone again when you've been victimized. There's sources out there but when you're shy, you don't want to talk," she said.

"There's shame and there's a lot of things you've gone through, you don't want to share again, talk about it, it's like you're getting victimized again because you're sharing and talking."

Originally from Behchoko, Wood spoke at a sharing circle at the Native Women's Association of the NWT in Yellowknife on May 31.

She said nothing helped ease her suffering until she found a relationship with God, allowing her to forgive the person who had victimized her. She said speaking in groups like the sharing circle is cathartic and important for survivors to find comfort and connection.

"There is hope, there is resources out there, there is people that care," she said.

The sharing circle was organized by Marie Speakman, victim service worker at Native Women's, in honour of National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. The theme this year was empowering resilience.

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