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Optimism Place ~ Women's Shelter and Support Services in Stratford Optimism Place

Outreach Services

Healthy Relationships


Are you concerned about your dating relationship – or a friend’s?

Do you feel things just aren’t right?

Dating can be confusing, especially when you’re young and new at it. But no matter how young or old you are, there are some things that should never, ever be part of a relationship – like intimidation, humiliation, yelling, attempts to control your behavior, jealous accusations and possessiveness.

And nobody should ever be subjected to punching, kicking, slapping, choking, physical confinement or any form of physical abuse.

And what about sex? Do you ever feel pressured to have sex when you don’t want to? Are you subjected to unwanted sexual touching or forced to participate in humiliating sexual acts? These are not part of a healthy dating relationship.

Dating should be fun. It should be about mutual respect, understanding and trust. And it shouldn’t mean you have to give up your friends or family members.

If you want to talk to somebody – confidentially – we’re here to help. We offer one-on-one counseling and group discussions. We also often liaise with teachers and instructors to give class presentations on this topic.


Jules and Nathan are dating. On Friday, when Jules is spending the evening at a friend’s house, Nathan keeps texting her throughout the evening. Jules pays more attention to her phone than her friend. Nathan keeps asking her what she’s doing, who is there and when she is leaving. He wants her to leave and spend the rest of the evening with him. Jules is worried about what will happen if she doesn’t answer his texts.

Jules may be in an emotionally abusive relationship. Nathan seems to be exhibiting signs of unsubstantiated jealousy and a desire to control Jules. He is pressuring Jules to feel that all her free time should be spent with him. He is keeping tabs on her through text messages.

Jules has the right to uninterrupted time with her friends. She could call Optimism Place at any time to discuss the matter with a counselor. Our Healthy Relationships Program is designed to assist people to understand the nature of their relationships and deal with ones that are unhealthy or abusive.

Let us help.
Call 519-271-5310 ext. 24 or cell: 519-301-5310


Optimism Place is a support services centre that offers assistance for all members of the community including the LGBTQ+ population. In 2017, the organization launched their own initiative offering services and resources that specialized in supporting, commemorating and celebrating all individuals of all genders and all sexual orientations. The first of its kind in Perth county, the initiative has offered support for LGBTQ+ youth, awareness pieces surrounding HIV/AIDS, consultations with school boards and drop in sessions with school based Gay Straight Alliance clubs.  The initiative will continue to focus on ground breaking policy work, anti discrimination education and self acceptance. If there are any individuals who may be confused about their sexuality, questioning their gender or wanting to speak to someone openly, please use the resources below or contact Optimism Place. In addition, if you would like to support the project please contact the LGBTQ+ Consultant below.

Dylan Bruxer
Optimism Place LGBTQ+ Consultant

Youth Line
LGBTQ+ Support Line

EGALE Canada Human Rights Trust
LGBTQ+ Resources and Education

Rainbow Health Ontario
LGBTQ+ Health Resources and Support

Legal Advocacy / Family Court Support Program  /  Group Sessions
24 HOUR CRISIS LINE: 519-271-5550 or 1-800-265-8598 ; © Copyright 2016 Optimism Place Women's Shelter and Support Services. All Rights Reserved. Charitable Registration Number:130639396RR001