Stories Behind the Warriors

Debby is one of the founders of Warriors on Water. Here is her story:

Our family experienced domestic violence nearly 8 years ago when my step-daughter, Melissa Chatham, was killed by her former partner. We had no power to influence Melissa during this toxic relationship and our feelings of powerlessness grew throughout our entire experience with the courts and justice system after she was killed. Melissa and our family were constantly referred to as victims. We received support from a local Community-Based Victim Assistance program, from the Ending Violence Association of BC and from grief counsellors, but this support did not give us back our power. As a consequence, although we continued to go through the daily motions of living, our family withdrew from our various communities and turned inward.

We experienced domestic violence “second hand” so to speak, as we were not directly experiencing the physical and emotional violence. I believe the women and children who experience this violence firsthand must feel totally without power. Power comes from having choices and having support, which in turn come from having knowledge. For this reason, it is important to increase awareness about domestic violence. Individuals and our communities need to be more informed about this debilitating issue. They need to have information about its prevalence in society, about prevention and about how to support those who have survived domestic violence.


Warriors on Water

Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence

Dedicated to helping survivors of domestic violence reclaim their lives, Warriors on Water is an EVA BC partner.

To find out more contact Debby or Cheryl at