Help for battered women in rural areas. (includes related article)

In Grand Forks, B.C., a community-run shelter offers hope

Janet McDonald was sharing an afternoon coffee with her neighbor, a close friend, when the woman confided a secret: her husband was beating her. "She was no different from me or from any other woman," recalls the 43-year-old realtor. "But when she went home, she was abused." With the nearest shelter more than 100 kilometers away, she and her children had nowhere to go.

The incident marked a turning point for McDonald. Since then, she and a group of committed volunteers have worked tirelessly to create a safe haven in Grand Forks, a town of 3,600 people in southcentral B.C.

The original goal was simply to establish safe houses--private homes that offer emergency sanctuary--so women wouldn't have to leave their own community to get help. …

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