News & Press Releases

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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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