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News & Press Releases

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...
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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.

New logo launched!

In anticipation of the start of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women tomorrow, we are launching our new logo! This logo communicates not only that Women’s Shelters Canada is a network of exchange, action, and care, but that it is also a unified voice in the work to end violence against women. WSC strives to elevate the work of organizations throughout the network as they build communities and safe spaces, as well as facilitating knowledge sharing. In this iteration of the three-dimensional heart structure, the network is shown in multiple colours to reflect the idea that there are a variety of shelter/transition house services and organizations...
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National Housing Strategy Recognizes Needs of Most Vulnerable Women

Ottawa, 23 November 2017 – Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) welcomes the government’s announcement of the National Housing Strategy that commits to at least 25% of investments to support projects that specifically target the needs of women and girls. “Lack of availability of safe and affordable housing is a major barrier for women fleeing violence,” said Lise Martin, Executive Director of Women’s Shelters Canada. “The programs included in the strategy have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of these women. Success will largely depend on ensuring that an intersectional feminist approach trickles down to the local levels where much of the delivery will occur.” Federal leadership in...
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Survey – Developing a National Profile of Women’s Shelters

Ottawa, 19 September 2017 Women’s Shelters Canada has launched a national survey on women’s shelters and transition houses (THs) to strengthen the women’s shelter sector in Canada. The survey is part of a larger grant provided by Status of Women Canada. The survey will be instrumental in allowing us to demonstrate the extent of shelter work across the country. Data collected will help with public education and awareness, illuminating the extensive and life saving work that shelters and THs do. After a slow roll out this summer, we have now fully launched the survey, sending survey links to all women’s shelters and THs across the country. The response has been...
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Women’s Shelters Canada Calls for Reinstatement of Shelter Enhancement Program

Women’s Shelters Canada, along with our member provincial and territorial shelter associations, is calling on the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, to reinstate the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) as part of the National Housing Strategy being announced later this fall. The SEP, previously housed at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), was dismantled in 2011 under the Harper government. The Fund was cancelled despite the fact that it had been positively evaluated by a third party in 2009. When we asked shelter workers a few years ago what would be the one thing that would improve the outcomes for women and children fleeing violence, an...
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Recommendations on the National Housing Strategy

Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) has developed 11 recommendations and an open letter to inform the National Housing Strategy (NHS), which we hope will lead to comprehensive policies and funding opportunities to better support women fleeing domestic violence. The recommendations are the result of a cross-sectoral roundtable on housing, homelessness, and VAW organized by WSC in June 2017. The roundtable brought together a diverse group of leaders and experts including representatives from the VAW sector, the social and affordable housing sector, the homelessness sector, the anti-poverty sector, academics, and policy makers. It is our hope that through consultations and collaboration with advocates from VAW shelters and women’s housing and homelessness sectors, the NHS...
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A step in the right direction – The beginnings of a more coordinated approach to addressing violence against women

Ottawa, 19 June 2017 Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) welcomes the release of the federal government’s strategy to address gender-based violence. It is recognition of the problem and how it impedes women’s equality. The intent of the strategy is to take a holistic approach at the federal level with Status of Women Canada (SWC) playing a leadership role. The strengthening of SWC is essential if the government is to walk the talk in terms of having a feminist approach to governing and policy making. Women’s Shelters Canada has been advocating for a national strategy for several years. The strategy announced today is a big step forward. “We are encouraged by the...
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