Warmland Women’s Support Services Society is offering a free program called ‘Transformation Through Movement’, for self-identified women and genderqueer survivors of intimate partner abuse and/or sexualized violence. (Submitted graphic)

Warmland Women’s Support Services Society is offering a free program called ‘Transformation Through Movement’, for self-identified women and genderqueer survivors of intimate partner abuse and/or sexualized violence. (Submitted graphic)

Cowichan program aims to help abuse survivors transform through movement

For self-identified women and genderqueer survivors of intimate partner abuse or sexualized violence

A new free program aims to help abuse survivors in the Cowichan Valley heal.

“A program by the name of ‘Transformation Through Movement’ could not come at a more welcomed time,” said Kendra Thomas, program coordinator for Warmland Women’s Support Services Society, a sexual assault advocacy centre in the Cowichan Valley. “Given the long COVID season of restricted movement, reduced access to supports, and isolation, community members are more than ready to reconnect and express.”

“Transformation Through Movement” is a trauma-informed movement program for self-identified women and genderqueer survivors of intimate partner abuse and/or sexualized violence. The program combines mindfulness practices with dynamic movement resulting in what organizers call an exhilarating and liberating approach to healing.

“A workout for body and soul, ‘Transformation Through Movement’ takes survivors from depression to expression, contraction to expansion, fragmentation to wholeness, moving us beyond self-imposed limitations and isolation into new depths of connection with ourselves and others,” says a press release for the program.

“I really enjoyed how each dance class was about a concept,” said Thomas. “While some were body parts, the depth of the symbolism and the diving into what our bodies feel in that area, the having a time and space to just listen to pain/blockages/stiff muscles and allow whatever memories to surface….that was golden. That was only possible I think, because of the unscripted space to ‘dance’ as individuals and the invitation to explore, without the need to conform.”

“Transformation Through Movement” is an eight-week closed therapeutic group program (no drop-ins) bringing together feminist theory and 5Rhythms — a practice of being in body that facilitates deep and unending exploration. Restrictions are in place according to current public health orders to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 including social distancing.

Registration is free thanks to generous funding from Island Health Community Wellness Grants.

“We are grateful for this financial support to assist women’s healing from intentional interpersonal violence,” said the release.

Registration is now open for the August to September Sunday group, 1:30-3:30 p.m., at Providence Farm. Contact kthomas@warmlandwomen.org, or 250-710-8177 for registration details.

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