Shelter Voices 2015 – Survey confirms urgent need to expand capacity in Canadian women’s shelters

April 22, 2015

Shelter Voices Annual survey of a day in the life of Canadian women’s shelters confirms a need for further resources

April 22/ Ottawa – The Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses today released their second annual Shelter Voices survey report on the state of shelters for women fleeing abuse across Canada. Shelters from every province and territory have contributed to provide a snapshot of a day in the life of a women’s shelter.

The four-page survey summary report shows that on one day, 231 shelters in Canada welcomed 122 new women residents and 81 new child residents. However on the same day shelters were forced to turn away 302 women and 221 children seeking shelter due to lack of resources. Shelter Voices also covers abuse prevention services, survivor support services for residents and non-residents, support for mental health and substance use concerns within shelters, as well as visions and testimonies from shelter workers and shelter residents.

Shelter Voices is launching online across Canada in English and French via email, Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, April 22nd using the tags #sheltervoices and #maisonxpriment. Our stakeholders are invited to amplify the launch messages by sharing a version of our launch tweet: “Today @endvaw releases  #ShelterVoices 2015 report on the state of women’s shelters in #Canada. Share widely!  #VAW” Shelters and allies are encouraged to use Shelter Voices to help start conversations in their own communities on the importance of shelters and the need for further support.

“It’s great that there’s been increasing recognition of the prevalence of violence against women in Canadian society,” says Lise Martin, Executive Director of the CNWSTH. “But the flip side is that there simply are not enough resources to meet the demand for services.”

Despite the resource crunch, Shelter Voices testimonies reflect the impact that shelters have on the lives of women and children fleeing abuse. “I thought I would never be able to speak my mind,” says one woman via Shelter Voices. “Thanks to shelter staff I have my voice back.” A child’s voice puts it even more succinctly: “We are in a magical house.”



The Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters & Transition Houses is a coalition of 12 provincial and territorial shelter networks representing over 350 shelters across Canada. It works 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 more information or media interviews:

Lise Martin / Executive Director
(613) 680-5119 |
CNWSTH online: @endvawnetwork   wttps://