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 at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
  • Laura Budd – Education Coordinator, Safer Transitions Project
  • Rebecca Kudloo – President, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
  • Nneka MacGregor – Executive Director of the Women’s Centre for Social Justice
  • Viviane Michel – President, Quebec Native Women
  • Cathy Richardson/Kinewesquao, Metis therapist specializing in violence prevention and recovery

WHAT: Shelters of the Future will highlight the work of shelters and shelter workers; provide capacity building opportunities for shelter workers; and contribute to the development and enhancement of policy linked to the issue of VAW. This event brings shelter workers together from every province and territory – from urban and rural communities, on and off reserve – to learn from each other. It’s a chance to re-energize and empower themselves, to see that they are not alone in the work they do. And it helps us all see WSC’s goal of ensuring comparable services are available to all women fleeing violence, no matter where they live.

Examples of topics of interest:

  • Technology and Gender-Based Violence: Training to Enhance Women’s Safety
  • Making Shelters Accessible to LGBTQ+ People
  • Preventing Domestic Homicide
  • Escaping Violence Together: Co-Sheltering Women and Pets
  • A Disruptive Innovation: Sheltering Men
  • Connecting the dots: Exploring the research into intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury
  • Engaging Men and Boys: Examples of Advocacy and Fostering Behavioural Change
  • Trauma and Mental Health among VAW Shelter/TH Staff
  • Can Work Be Safe When Home Isn’t? Domestic Violence and the Workplace
  • Towards a Better Understanding of the Links Between VAW and Homelessness
  • Indigenous Women’s Healing and Wellness
  • Using Our Influence to Shift the Culture of Violence and Abuse in the Lives of Rural Women and Girls
  • Skill Share: Serving Women with Mental Health and Substance Use Issues
  • Safety Planning with Vulnerable Communities


  • Shaw Centre
  • University of Ottawa

WHEN: 13-15 June 2018


With the growing movements of #MeToo and #TIMESUP, more and more people around the world are realizing that violence against women and girls is a systemic problem that needs to end. On average in Canada, every 6 days a woman is killed by her current or former intimate partner. In the first 5 months of 2018, 67 women and girls were killed and male partners, former partners, or relatives have been arrested. That’s one woman every 2 days.

Women’s Shelters Canada is a national organization representing shelters and transition houses for women and their children fleeing violence. We bring together 14 provincial and territorial shelter organizations, representing over 450 individual shelters. We work 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.


For media enquiries, contact:

Kaitlin Bardswich / Communications and Development Coordinator
613.680.5119 /