A Little History
New Start began in October 1974 as a project, to provide a counselling service for men whose partners had to take shelter in Bryony House, the local transition house for women. Ken Belanger, a social worker, was instrumental in bringing forward the value and importance of men involved in violent relationships becoming engaged in a therapeutic journey that would lead to more respectful and healing relationships.
Over time, the clinical approach has embraced Narrative Therapy where people are invited to identify what they want in relationships and find out what has prevented them from achieving the relationships they want. Now, New Start is an independent society registered under the Societies Act of the Province of Nova Scotia. In 2012, New Start received charitable status through the Canada Revenue Agency.
In March 2018, the Domestic Violence Court was opened in Halifax. New Start played a significant role in collaborating with community agencies and government to create a restorative experience for people affected by domestic violence who are going through the courts. There has been a significant increase in female accused coming through the Domestic Violence Court. New Start has now expanded its mandate to provide female accused with counselling.