On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia is pleased to announce that the first Education Bursary from the Pamela Gerhardt Endowment Fund has been awarded.

From her Obituary: “Pamela Gerhardt died on March 27, 2012, with her family by her side, in the Palliative Care Unit of the VG Site, QEII Hospital, Halifax. A devoted mother, Pam took most pride in the upbringing and constant love she provided to her two daughters. She was also dedicated to a number of charities, most notably the Transition House Association of NS. She will be remembered for all that makes the world a better place – compassion, humility, generosity and kindness. “

The intent and purpose of the Pamela Gerhardt Endowment Fund is to recognize and support women who have used our services, to encourage and support their efforts to further their education, and to honor their struggles in overcoming the impact and effects of domestic violence. Ms. Gerhardt’s lifelong friends Joan and Wayne Myles, and her daughters Laura O’Donnell and Stephanie Kennettle, worked with THANS to choose this year’s recipient.

Elaine (real names are being withheld to protect the privacy of the recipient) is a young woman who was in an abusive relationship for over three years, a relationship that moved from verbal and psychological abuse to physical violence. Her partner isolated her from her friends and family, bragged about involvement with other girls and threatened to kill her many times. Her mother sought counselling herself and one day encouraged Elaine to call her local transition house.

Elaine said: “It was the best thing I ever did for myself. Being able to talk to someone without being judged, and have them understand what I was going through gave me the strength to finally get rid of Bill. The next time he hurt me I called the police. He was arrested and ten charges were brought against him, including assault, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement, threats and damage to property.”

In her application to the Pamela Gerhardt Endowment Fund, Elaine explained her need to improve her education by saying: “This bursary will help me achieve my goal of becoming a social worker, to support other women and girls with experiences like mine. “

Elaine was awarded $1000.00 toward her 2nd year at one of Atlantic Canada’s universities. In future, as the Pamela Gerhard Endowment Fund grows, the intent is to award one or more bursaries each year. Donations to the Endowment Fund may be made by cheque to the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia or online at https://www.canadahelps.org/DonationDetails.aspx

Available for Comment:
Pamela Harrison
Provincial Coordinator
902-429-7287 [p]
902-456-1030 [c]
coordinator@thans.ca