About Women’s Shelters Canada

The world can change when women come together around a common vision.

Several years ago, the provincial and territorial, organizations representing women’s shelters and transition houses recognized that though each served and supported the shelters and transition houses in their respective regions, no organization existed to do the same at a national level.

There simply was no national forum in which shelters could share ideas and resources. There was no space for them to learn together and innovate together so as to advance high quality services they offer. There was no unified voice for women’s shelters and transition houses on the national stage to help generate systemic change.

In 2009, drawn together by a shared vision to end violence against women, these associations began giving shape to Women’s Shelters Canada (formerly the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters & Transition Houses). Together, we have become a national, collaborative voice for change. The Network was incorporated and became a charitable organization in November 2012.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe that governments and societies are responsible for ensuring women’s human rights.
  • We believe that violence violates women’s human rights and equality.
  • We believe that the women’s shelter movement plays a critical leadership role in the provincial/territorial, national, and global effort to end violence against women and their children.

A Unified Voice

We provide a strong, unified voice on the issue of violence against women. A unified voice means the issue of violence against women is on the agenda at the national level. It means the vital role of shelters and transition houses is understood and valued. It means hope to women experiencing violence everywhere.  With our voice, we help increase awareness to ensure that policies, legislation and regulations are informed by the experiences and insights of our members.

A Space for Collaboration

We create opportunities to exchange ideas, learn from one another and share resources. We connect knowledgeable and dedicated individuals from coast to coast to coast. Exciting new ideas are born, best practices are promoted and transferred and those who work in our challenging field feel more connected and more supported. All of this helps to ensure the women and children who turn to shelters and transition houses receive the most effective and compassionate support possible.