This study is the first of its kind in Canada to examine the spectrum of supports for survivors of IPV and how second stage shelters address and close housing gaps and break the cycle of abuse. 

WSC conducted a research study Breaking the Cycle of Abuse and Closing the Housing Gap: Second Stage Shelters in Canada. We gathered information in an online survey as well as through in-person interviews and on-site visits in the Yukon, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We heard from executive directors, frontline workers, and current and former residents of second stage shelters. In February 2020, WSC hosted a pan-Canadian focus group with 16 participants from second stage shelters to discuss some of the preliminary findings and recommendations. The full report was launched on September 30, 2020.

If you are a second stage shelter and want access to our advocacy toolkit, please contact Kyla Tanner, Development Project Manager, at

Download the Full Report

Download the Executive Summary

How to Use this Report

Background Information

Watch the Digital Public Launch