Toronto, JUNE 4, 2015 – With the launch of Sheltersafe.ca today – a new online resource – women and children across the country will have a one stop connection to help in their community when they are seeking shelter from domestic abuse. Any time of day or night, through Sheltersafe.ca, women can find help and support.
Sheltersafe.ca connects abused women to help close to home. Using a clickable map, women can quickly access shelter services in their community. In addition to being a safe place to stay, shelters have 24-hour telephone lines to assist women in crisis. This includes helping women to make a safety plan for themselves and for their children. The site underlines that women do not need to be a shelter resident to access shelter services. “We want women to know that they are not alone, that help is available 24 hours a day,” said Lise Martin, Executive Director of the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses.
Sheltersafe.ca provides a single point of information for women seeking safety and quickly identifies a shelter in a specific geographic area. The map provides 24-hour emergency telephone numbers, while protecting the confidential locations of shelters. “The most typical experience for victims of domestic violence is isolation. A map indicating hundreds of points of light, of hope, and of safety is more than a tool. It is a reminder that you are not alone, it is a reminder that whether you live in a large urban centre or in a remote community, that there are resources that can help,” said Dawna Pritchard, Executive Director of a remote shelter in Manitoba.
There are over 450 shelters across the country providing a safety net for women and their children. On any given night, 4,600 women and their 3,600 children are forced to sleep in women’s shelters as a result of domestic violence. The majority of children in shelters are younger than five. On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
“The key to bringing safety to women who have experienced abuse is for them to know that a range of services is available through their local women’s shelter,” said Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, a charity founded by Canadian real estate company, Royal LePage, and dedicated to supporting women’s shelters. “That’s why we are proud to be a partner in Sheltersafe.ca and to help spread the word about this important new resource.”
“Stopping situations of domestic abuse depends on women and their children being directed to the right care at the right time,” said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “RBC is proud to support this new online resource, and Sheltersafe.ca’s efforts to ensure shelter and safety for those needing their services.”
Sheltersafe.ca is also an important new tool for other helping agencies, employers and the neighbours, friends and families of women experiencing domestic violence.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN NETWORK OF WOMEN’S SHELTERS & TRANSITION HOUSES
The Network brings together 12 provincial and territorial shelter organizations. It works as a unified voice to collaborate, educate, and innovate for systemic change that ends violence against women, making Canada a model for safety in the world.
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Lisa Robertson Susan Wright
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