The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society has welcomed a new Executive Director.

Debbie Berg originally hails from Edmonton, Alberta and has a background in leadership as it relates to homelessness and addiction, along with helping to oversee a detox centre in Edmonton.

She moved to Vancouver Island in 2016, worked for Our Place Society and dealt with some tent city challenges.

She said listening and learning are key to her transition into this role.

“I want to learn more about the Cowichan area, so a lot of listening right now,” said Berg. “What we hope to do is look at filling some of the gaps that exist for women who are finding it challenging in the whole area of second-stage housing. We help them flee violence and then, where do they go from there?

Berg said, “Obviously rent’s are prohibitive when they’re dealing with the situations that they’re in.”

She wants to look at prevention projects, educating people and working with children to make sure C-WAV is looking for long-term preventative solutions at the community level.

Berg says, Jane Sterk, who served in the position for five years, has left the organization in a very good position.

“The organization, when I came into it is well organized and they’re doing amazing things,” said Berg. “First of all, I’m going to continue doing what they’re doing.”

When asked what the next step is in securing some shelter for women and children, Berg said conversations on that subject are ongoing.