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News & Press Releases

Organizations Against Gender-Based Violence Welcome Opportunity to Participate in the Mass Casualty Commission

Ottawa, 14 May 2021 Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC), the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) and Be the Peace Institute (BTPI) are pleased to be participating, in coalition, in the important work of the Mass Casualty Commission. Yesterday, the Commission released its decision granting all three organizations the right to participate in the work of the Inquiry. In its decision, the Commission granted participation rights to individuals, including those most affected, such as the families of the victims, as well as victim advocacy, health-related, firearm, justice, police-related, and other gender-related organizations. The Mass Casualty Commission was jointly struck by the Federal and Nova Scotia governments in late October 2020...
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Anti-Violence Advocates Applaud First-Ever Significant Investment in a National Action Plan: Federal Budget

Ottawa, 20 April 2021 Women’s Shelters Canada applauds the federal government for making gender-based violence (GBV) a central consideration in Budget 2021. The budget makes an overall investment of $600 million in initiatives that anti-violence experts have been calling for as part of a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women & Gender-Based Violence (NAP). In addition to $14 million for the development and implementation of the NAP itself, $200 million for organizations that deal with GBV, $30 million for crisis hotlines, and $105 million for GBV prevention initiatives—including directly to Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations—through the Department for Women and Gender Equality, Budget 2021 reflects many ongoing recommendations from...
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Answering the Call for a National Action Plan

Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) is thrilled to announce that it has just embarked on a historic project that will inform the framework and initial content of Canada’s 10-year National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Funding from the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) has made this possible. Since 2014, WSC has been calling for a NAP on GBV/VAW. This week, we began convening the first discussion sessions with 40 experts from across the country. This project, with its ambitious timeline, will tackle four of the five pillars that have been identified by WAGE in their vision of the National Action Plan. These pillars are:  Prevention Co-chairs: Anuradha Dugal...
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New National Report Shows Increase in Frequency and Severity of Domestic Violence During COVID-19

Ottawa, 25 November 2020 Today, Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) released Shelter Voices 2020: The Impact of COVID-19 on VAW Shelters and Transition Houses. A majority of violence against women (VAW) shelters reported a decrease in crisis calls and requests for admittance during the first three months of the pandemic, while a similar majority experienced an increase in those calls and requests when lockdown measures eased. One in two (52%) shelters saw an increase in the severity of violence that the women they were serving had experienced. “These findings have confirmed what we’ve been hearing anecdotally from women’s shelters across the country since March,” said Lise Martin, executive director of Women’s...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Receives Historic $4.5 Million Donation from the Rogers Family

Ottawa, 15 June 2020 Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) is thrilled to be the recipient of a generous $4.5 million donation from the Rogers family to improve the lives of women and children fleeing violence, the largest in WSC history. “COVID-19 has taught us that a sector is only as good as its people,” said Lise Martin, Executive Director of WSC. “Shelter staff have been working creatively to adapt the services they provide to keep women and their children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This gift from the Rogers family will provide much-needed resources to our sector as it continues to adapt to new realities.” The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted violence against women...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Welcomes Appeal Regarding Extreme Intoxication

Like many women and women’s organizations across Canada, Women’s Shelters Canada was appalled by the Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling last week that extreme intoxication resulting in automatism can be used as a defense against sexual assault. We therefore welcome the Crown’s decision to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. We stand with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), which intervened in the case, and stated: “We are dismayed that women’s rights to equality and dignity are not given more adequate treatment…It also risks sending a dangerous message that men can avoid accountability for their acts of violence against women and children through intoxication.” We know that...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Stands with Black Lives Matter

Women’s Shelters Canada stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and with all Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour in Canada and around the world. As a settler organization operating within an inherently racist society, we recognize that it is our responsibility to act as allies and witnesses to the injustices faced by our siblings. We will continue to use our voice, our actions, and our social media presence to call for an end to police brutality and for the dismantling of the current state of policing. We reject the notion that defunding the police would be detrimental to women and girls fleeing violence. For more information on this,...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Calls for Action after NS Shooter’s Former Neighbour’s Statement

Ottawa, 14 May 2020 Women’s Shelters Canada is outraged that women’s lives and the issue of violence against women continue to be minimized. The result is multiple systemic failures. As evident from the Nova Scotia shooter’s former neighbour’s interview, women aren’t believed even when they literally could have helped prevent Canada’s largest mass murder. Over the last decade, there have been multiple calls for change and inquiries, yet no meaningful action. Advocates and service providers work tirelessly to keep women and their children safe and to end violence against women. Our sector is stretched to the limit. But this is not just our battle. As a society, we need to recognize,...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Calls on Authorities to Acknowledge Gendered Aspect of Nova Scotia Mass Shooting

Ottawa, 23 April 2020  Women’s Shelters Canada is asking for the RCMP and the federal government to acknowledge the gendered aspect of this weekend’s mass shooting in Nova Scotia. On Sunday, unconfirmed reports came in almost immediately that the perpetrator killed his former partner and her partner during his rampage. For those working to end violence against women, this was not surprising, as the majority of mass shootings in the USA have involved violence against a current or former female partner. The massacre in Nova Scotia this weekend became Canada’s deadliest. The second and third deadliest also had misogyny and violence against women at their core. In the Montreal Massacre in...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Welcomes Opportunity to Distribute Federal Funds to VAW Shelters Across the Country

Ottawa, 4 April 2020 Today, the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) will be distributing federal funds across the country to eligible shelters and transition houses supporting women and children fleeing violence. On March 18, the federal government announced $50 million to support the sector working to end violence against women (VAW). Of this, up to $26 million has been dedicated as emergency funding to support eligible VAW shelters and transition houses. With the exception of shelters funded by Indigenous Services Canada (whose emergency funds will be distributed directly by ISC) and those in Quebec (where work is underway on the...
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