Groups trying to stop family violence on P.E.I. have launched a new website where people can find help.

The site was officially launched at an event in Charlottetown Friday. Leona Arsenault, a survivor of family violence, told the gathering of police and representatives of women's support groups that having help available makes a difference.


Leona Arsenault says halfway houses saved her life. ((William van Asperen/CBC))

"I really believe in my heart that if it wasn't for the halfway houses I wouldn't be here today," said Arsenault.

"I know that for a fact. It saved my life."

Arsenault says she was able to overcome years of violence because she found people to help her, and a safe place to go. The Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention hopes the website will make it easier for women to find the support they need.

The website contains information not only for people living in violent situations, but also for friends, family and colleagues who may suspect they know someone in trouble at home. It explains where to go for help, and even how to erase traces that you've visited the website.

It sets aside a special section about children living with violence.

"Each of us has a role in helping this generation of children and youth understand what a healthy relationship is," said Premier Pat Binns.


Children are particularly vulnerable, said Premier's Action Committee chair Marion Reid. ((William van Asperen/CBC))

The committee says that children growing up in violent homes face a lifetime of pain and anxiety, and often continue the cycle of violence in their own families.

"I taught for 21 years. I have virtually looked into the eyes of children and I know that their souls have been ripped out," said Marion Reid, chair of the Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention.

"I personally don't know how you can be the kind of person that you're destined to be if you're living in constant fear."

The website is being launched to mark family violence prevention week, which starts on Monday.