News & Press Releases

New National Report on Second Stage Shelters for Women Fleeing Violence Shows Inadequate Funding

Ottawa, 25 September 2019 Today, Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) released “Transitioning to a Life Free from Violence: Second Stage Shelters in Canada.” This new report illustrates the important work that second stage shelters do in helping women and children transition to lives free from violence. Yet, the vast majority are doing so under increasing financial pressure. “The timing of this report’s release is especially crucial in the lead up to the federal election next month,” said Lise Martin, executive director of Women’s Shelters Canada. “Violence against women is a non-partisan issue; every political party should address VAW in their platforms. We urge all federal parties to commit to a National...
Read More

As Father’s Day nears, men across Canada are making a positive difference in the lives of women and children

Toronto, 11 June 2019 A group called Strengthening Ties is working towards an impressive and important goal just in time for Father’s Day. Strengthening Ties is calling on men to honour the women and children that are important in their lives by pledging money to support Women’s Shelters Canada, a national organization working to end violence against women. Strengthening Ties: Men Supporting Women’s Shelters is asking men across the country to help support the over 500 women’s shelters in Canada. So far, eighty men have signed on as founding donors of Strengthening Ties with contributions of $1,000 a year for three years.  Many of these men have made these donations in honour of their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and sons. Strengthening Ties has set a goal...
Read More

New National Report Finds that Violence Against Women Shelters Are Doing More with Less

Ottawa, 1 May 2019 Today, Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) released “More Than a Bed: A National Profile of Violence Against Women (VAW) Shelters and Transition Houses.” This report gives detailed information on the breadth and depth of VAW shelters across the country. The data clearly show that they are providing expanding services for a diverse group of women and children, without comparable funding increases. “More women call shelter crisis lines every day, many desperately looking for safety. Unfortunately, shelter workers often find themselves in the unbearable situation of having to turn them away because far too many shelters are operating at capacity,” said Lise Martin, executive director of Women’s Shelters...
Read More

Sheltersafe.ca Launches New and Improved Search Features for Women and Children Escaping Violence

Ottawa, 6 December 2018 Today, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (VAW), Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) has launched new and improved search features on its Sheltersafe.ca website.  ShelterSafe.ca is an online resource helping women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse. The clickable map serves as a quick way to connect women with the nearest shelter or transition house (TH) that can offer safety, hope, and support. This resource is for women directly impacted by violence as well as for their concerned friends, family, colleagues and employers. Women do not need to reside in the shelter/TH to receive services. An improved search...
Read More

Women’s Shelters Canada Releases Report Documenting Gaps in Domestic Violence Policies, Legislation, and Services Across Canada

Ottawa, 25 September 2018 Today, during Canada’s first Gender Equality Week, Women’s Shelters Canada is releasing the report Building a National Narrative: A Select Review of Domestic Violence Policies, Legislation, and Services Across Canada. Our goal is to see a Canada where every woman living with violence is able to access comparable levels of services and protection, no matter where she lives. Currently, that is not the case. This report details the differences in resources, legislation, and services across Canada when it comes to domestic violence – differences in lengths of stay at shelters, government funding, shelter standards, Domestic Homicide Review Committees, tenancy acts, and paid and unpaid leave from work. To date...
Read More

Introducing Three New Members of the WSC Board

Women’s Shelters Canada is thrilled to announce our three new Board members: Claudette Dumont-Smith, Saadia Muzaffar, and Beverley Wybrow! Claudette Dumont-Smith Claudette Dumont-Smith has been actively involved in the field of Aboriginal health since 1974. She is a registered nurse and has acted in various executive capacities with the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and worked as a consultant for various National Aboriginal Organizations as well as at the regional and local levels. Ms. Dumont-Smith has moderated health conferences across Canada and has collaborated on a number of papers and manuals about various aspects of Aboriginal health care programs. Ms. Dumont-Smith has served as a member of the Aboriginal circle of the...
Read More

Launch of Shelter Voices 2018

We are please to announce the release of Shelter Voices 2018, the fifth national survey of transition houses and shelters serving women and children affected by violence against women and intimate partner violence. This one-day snapshot from 215 shelters across the country offers a sense of the hopes, challenges, and experiences of shelter workers and the women they serve. This year’s edition of Shelter Voices also focuses on wheelchair accessibility, counselling programs for children, and pet sheltering. Read it here

Canada’s First National Shelter Conference for Women Fleeing Violence

Ottawa, 8 June 2018 WHO: Women’s Shelters Canada To mark our five-year anniversary as a national unified voice on the issue of violence against women (VAW), we are holding Canada’s first national VAW shelter conference. Drawing nearly 600 participants, Shelters of the Future: A National Conversation is taking place in Ottawa from June 13-15, 2018. Keynote plenary speakers: Alanis Obomsawin – award-winning documentarian Renae Hopf and Nathalie Trottier – survivors of domestic violence Bonnie Brayton – Executive Director of DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada Marie Clarke Walker – Secretary-Treasurer at the Canadian Labour Congress Kaummajuk Holly Jarrett – founder of the #AmINext social injustice campaign Daisy Kler – collective member...
Read More

National Conference Registration

Registration is open! Register now to attend Women’s Shelters Canada’s first national conference in June 2018 in Ottawa – Shelters of the Future: A National Conversation. Bringing together 600 people, this will be a unique opportunity for shelter and transition house (TH) workers to share and learn from their peers. It is also a chance for partners, policy makers, researchers, activists, and others to engage with the shelter sector. The conference will offer practical opportunities for learning, knowledge sharing, and collaboration via workshops, panel presentations, and forum discussions. Register here

New Resource to Commemorate December 6

Today is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. We remember the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre as we work for systemic change to end violence against women (VAW). To mark this important day, we are releasing a new resource – By the Numbers: Violence Against Women and Girls in Canada, a summary of the current state of VAW in Canada including the VAW shelter sector, the legal system, and underfunding. Please share with your networks. Yours in feminist solidarity, WSC.