Zahra Zahed grew up in Afghanistan, where she was forced to leave school at 17 by her husband. When she moved to Canada she faced domestic abuse and sought help from Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. She is now a single mother who is enrolled in college studying Practical Nursing. She is an amazing and inspiring young woman!
Elizabeth Powell moved to Canada in 2014, joining her mother, two younger siblings and her stepfather. She quickly realized that her mother was being physically abused and the family lived in fear of abuse and control. In April 2016 Elizabeth, her siblings and her mother fled to Ernestines Women’s Shelter. There the family found security and began to heal from the past trauma and abuse.
Dawn will be presenting A Constructive Analysis of the Murder of Natalie Novak at the “Collaborating to Create Change” event on May 31st in Halifax. The event is organized by Halifax Regional Police Victim Services as part of the Victims of Crime Week 2019.
Dawn Novak will be featured as a speaker at the Victims of Homicide Western Canadian Conference in Edmonton on Monday, April 29th, 2019 from 2:15—3:45 pm. The session will include viewing the video If Only... Nat’s Story. Audiences have described Speaking for Natalie as both a powerful and moving experience.
Dawn and Ed Novak will be attending the 25th Anniversary of The Ernestine Affair! on April 10th, 2019, a fundraising event for Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter in Toronto. The Novaks will be presenting the Natalie Novak Youth Award which supports and honours former youth residents of the shelter who have shown courage, determination and willingness to be a role model for their peers and to be continuing in post secondary education.
BEGIN is a mnemonic device developed by Dawn Novak as a tool to a use when confronting violence against women, girls and children. Each letter in the word BEGIN uses associations to relevant aspects of attending an initial “domestic” call. It's a resource that is often asked for by police officers at Dawn's presentations.
Dawn and Ed Novak have contributed Natalie's story to a project called "Breaking the Uncomfortable Silence" by Western’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children (CREVAWC). The project includes a video and a long-form article.
This comprehensive analysis of Natalie Novak's case was published by Dawn & Ed Novak on May 3, 2010. It takes a systemic view of the events that led up to Natalie's murder in 2006 at Ryerson University in Toronto. The document was presented at Queen's Park, and has been used as a resource in policing courses at Wilfred Laurier University as well as the police colleges in Aylmer and Orillia.