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The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation - About Us
The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF) was established on January 15, 2012, in response to the tragic death of Jessica Martel, a 26 year old woman who was murdered by her husband in front of their children in Morinville, Alberta. The most tragic aspect of Jessica’s death is that she had a plan to leave her abusive relationship, but had nowhere safe to go. In efforts to prevent such tragedy and to provide support to women and their families in similar situations, the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation aims to serve victims of domestic violence in Morinville, Sturgeon County and surrounding areas. Although tragedy was the driving force behind the creation of the JMMF, it was established as a result of a perceived need for a safe house within the community. Further exploration has validated this need and has provided additional drive for achieving JMMF's goal of establishing a safe house.
A society that does not tolerate domestic violence and a community that brings safety and hope to vulnerable individuals and families.
Remove the stigma associated with domestic violence through community engagement, awareness, prevention and education. Empower individuals and families to live a life free of violence.
Outreach Program: Assists individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence to get re-established in the community. We have found that there is a need to assist victims in getting connected to the necessary resources required after leaving an abusive relationship. Victims will often return to an abusive relationship due to lack of obtainable resources. One of our charitable objectives is to provide amenities, such as furniture or groceries, to victims who are getting re-established. The role of the outreach worker is to act as a strong advocate for individuals in the community, collaborate with other community agencies and provide referrals, work effectively with the individual and their supports to help achieve their goals, attend various community events to promote the JMMF and to educate the community on issues of Domestic Violence, and to participate in on-going program development.
We utilize Wraparound, a strengths-based approach to working with families and their children with complex needs. The process coordinates the efforts of professionals and natural supports involved in the lives of at-risk individuals, thus better meeting the needs of this population. The wraparound process focuses on utilizing and enhancing the existing strengths of the participants, their team, and their community to generate a comprehensive plan that addresses needs in many different life domains. Underlying wraparound as an effective and accountable intervention for at-risk individuals and families is a belief that, through wraparound, families and communities can "take care of their own." By "wrapping" supports and services around at-risk individuals and families, rather than expecting them to conform to existing services, wraparound is inherently responsive to the individuality of participants.
Student Engagement: One of the foundation's objectives is to provide education to youth in our community as a proactive measure. Building on existing education on healthy relationships among youth, JMMF representatives provide a victim impact statement and show the face of domestic violence by providing education about:
A personal story of a victim of domestic violence
Early signs of abuse in Jessica’s relationship with her partner including controlling behaviours, possessiveness, verbal abuse.
Reasons why Jessica stayed in the relationship
Establishing boundaries early in a relationship and being aware of boundaries and the potential progression of an abusive relationship
Signs of abuse and the escalation of violence in different periods of their relationship, cycle of abuse
There is no cost to schools and organizations who wish to take part. The target audience for this presentation is Junior High and High School youth. The Foundation works with a representative from the Sturgeon School Division to ensure that the presentation aligns with Alberta curriculum.
Women's Self Defense: Offered free of charge to anyone who has been impacted by domestic violence and also offered to the general public for a fee. The benefits of learning Self- Defense include self-confidence, safety and self-care. Leave our seminar feeling empowered to help regain control over your own personal safety and then maintain your skills with a healthy mind and active body.
Make it Our Business: Offered free of charge to businesses. Created by the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women at Western University, our outreach program will come to your place of business as we educate supervisors and their staff in having empowering conversations with their employees to create safe workplaces for victims to disclose domestic violence and these forms of violence contribute to a multi-million dollar financial loss nation wide. We offer one hour or three hour interactive information sessions.
The larger goal is to open and operate a safe house in the area. There is a province-wide shortage of shelter beds (see Alberta Council for Women's Shelters for shelter data https://www.acws.ca/collaborate-document/2342/view ). We are currently in the process of re-examining our strategic plan, which will include the next steps needed to ensure sustainability for such a project. At this point, the JMMF's main priority is to establish strong partnerships within the community in order to make this project possible.
Lynne Rosychuk - President
Mary Robinson - Vice President
Monique Michener - Treasurer/Secretary
Andrea Duncan - Director
Kris Porlier - Director of Fund Development and Public Relations
Janice Del Colle - Fundraiser Director
Outreach Worker - Jennifer Vogl
587-879-6125 or firstname.lastname@example.org