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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 and map function now enables searches by address, city/town, landmark, or shelter name. Users can also adjust the search radius and see which shelters/THs are located across provincial and territorial borders. This is useful for those women who may need to leave their region due to safety concerns or who want to access a shelter in an area near family or friends. The zoom feature on the map is limited so that the exact location of the shelter/TH remains confidential.

Shelters/THs are now also searchable by the following criteria:

  • Pet sheltering programs (onsite or offsite)
    • Important because: Animal abuse is present in roughly 89% of domestic violence cases in Canada and up to 59% of abused women with pets delay leaving their relationship because they can’t bring their pet with them.
  • Physical accessibility (fully or partly)
    • Important because: Women living with physical and cognitive disabilities experience violence 2-3 times more often than women living without disabilities
  • Children’s programs (onsite or offsite)
    • Important because: Children who witness domestic violence have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children who don’t.

Over 460 shelters and transition houses are currently listed, with their consent, on sheltersafe.ca, representing 80% of VAW facilities across the country. This map is a stark visual reminder of the lack of services in certain parts of the country, particularly in the North. It is Women’s Shelters Canada’s vision to have a Canada where women have access to comparable services no matter where they live. This is why WSC, along with several other national and provincial organizations, continues to advocate for a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women.

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For media enquiries, contact:
Kaitlin Bardswich, Communications and Development Coordinator
613.680.5119 / kbardswich@endvaw.ca

Women’s Shelters Canada brings together 14 provincial and territorial shelter organizations. 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.