My life has a clear dividing line: Before Oct 2014 and after.
I’m Lucy DeCoutere. I’ve been in the Royal Canadian Air Force since 2010, and plenty of people know my face from a TV show I used to be on. However, nothing could have prepared me for how speaking publicly about my experience with sexual assault would irrevocably shift my purview. I went from occasionally talking to the press about the foibles of a fictional TV character to disclosing on national outlets my direct experience with sexual violence.
Suddenly, I had shed light on a secret I had been carrying and felt accountable to not only myself but to anyone who knew me (publicly or privately) to never kowtow to assaulting behaviour.
The moment the story broke, my inbox was flooded with letters of support from all over the world and countless people have stopped me on the street and disclosed stories which they had in some cases been carrying for decades. This, along with my own stress of processing the impact of various kinds of abuse I’ve experienced, brought my life to a standstill.
But now the stillness has passed and I am fired up. I am going to take advantage of the platform I have garnered throughout my career and leverage all the connections I have made to shine light on people moving forward to break the cycle of violence.
— Lucy DeCoutere
Everest Base Camp (EBC)
I am not an adrenaline junkie. Neither do I have much interest in backcountry shenanigans.
However, the idea of a trip which takes me to my physical edge, leaving me dwarfed by the immeasurable beauty around me, would help shift my perspective and be the shiny finish after years of being cooped up and tucked away in my brain.
Everest Base Camp (EBC) was not on the radar because I thought, simply, it was out of reach. Too technically hard. Too expensive. Too much for me to bite off. But upon researching, I learned none of my preconceptions were true. EBC is not, technically, a difficult climb. It's just hard. Really hard. That's not scary. I have more than enough grit, and if a time comes when doubt sets in, I can dig deep and find a little more.
With a lean budget, a clear vision, and a human touch, Shelter Movers is making a huge impact.
Shelter Movers is a federally registered charitable organization providing moving and storage services free of cost to women and children fleeing abuse. They collaborate with community partners to support families transitioning to a life free of violence.
Driven by more than 400 volunteers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Halifax with new chapters forming in Québec City, Waterloo, Hamilton and York Region, Shelter Movers has served more than 800 families; approximately 8 moves per week since 2016.
Shelter Movers internal cost to move one family is just $200. Ideally, this fundraising initiative will introduce Shelter Movers to new people as they branch out to additional centres across the country. The more people hear about what they are doing, the bigger reach they will have.