The following are testimonies from women who have used the services of women’s shelters and transition houses across Canada, gathered by Women’s Shelters Canada staff. Geographical locations are not disclosed and testimonies have been edited for clarity.

More stories from survivors available here (in French)

“It has been the best experience of my life. They were able to get me a sexual abuse counsellor, they have helped me find out where I want to go, what my action plans are…It’s the first time in my life I felt like I matter.”
– Marion*     Read her full story here

“Coming here it’s like that push that you need. The ladies are nice, they are here for anything to be honest. I wish I could cry on someone’s shoulder, but I think I’ve cried the river already. These ladies have given me the push I need in life.”
– Everchanging Spirit*     Read her full story here

“I was sad because my daughter was seeing what her dad was doing to me. It wasn’t good; I felt bad for her and for myself. I had to get out with my daughter.”
-Delani     Read her full story here

“The shelter allows me space to think a lot about my decisions and they help a great deal with the comforts they give me here. I have a lady counselling me right now. She is aboriginal. I feel like she understands because we are the same culture.”
– Dorothy     Read her full story here

“The transition house, they are nothing but supportive. They taught me to have confidence in myself, and how to build my own strength up so I didn’t feel the need to be defined by an abusive person. I used to define myself by the relationship that I was in; I would let them take complete control over every aspect of my life to avoid an argument. What the transition house has taught me is how to be confident and ok with the person that I am, because I am ok today.”
– Cassie     Read her full story here

* Names have been changed for safety.