Shelter for abuse victims gets remodel, in memory of Quinn Butt

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Shelter for abuse victims gets remodel, in memory of Quinn Butt

A St. John's shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence has unveiled three redesigned rooms named for Quinn Butt, a five-year-old who died in an alleged murder in April of 2016.

The kids' room, teen room, and ladies workout room were made possible by Adam Stead who fundraised last year to create a playground outside Paradise Elementary, and to remodel the rooms now named after Butt at Iris Kirby House.

"It's been a long road to get to this point," Stead said.

Fundraising for the playground exceeded Stead's expectations and he came up with the idea to help during a visit to the shelter.

"I really think it adds to what we tried to achieve here and that would be allowing the children to escape what their everyday life is," Stead said.

"I'm just so pleased that we can honour Quinn and all the other victims of domestic violence here in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Quinn Butt's mother, Andrea Gosse, was at Iris Kirby House to officially open the rooms honouring her daughter's memory.

"I'm so proud of what we have accomplished," she said, thanking Stead.

"I know [Quinn's] beaming with pride today as we open these three rooms at Iris Kirby House."

Supporting victims

Andrea Gosse is hoping to change the stigma around women's shelters.

"In the years that I was battered and beaten both physically and emotionally I often felt alone," Gosse said.

"There is a sense of shame that goes along with being a victim of domestic violence." 

Having a safe place to go, she said, is important.

"You don't have to wonder where to go or be ashamed, there is a place for you to come."

Quinn Butt's father, Trent Butt, was charged with first-degree murder and arson. His trial — set for March 26, 2018 — is expected to take six to eight weeks, with 25-40 witnesses called.