Sheltersafe.ca – A lifeline to safety for abused women and their children

Canadian Network of Women's Shelters & Transition Houses

JUNE 4, 2015 – With the launch of Sheltersafe.ca <http://www.sheltersafe.ca> today * a new online resource * women and children across the country will have a one stop connection to help in their community. Any time of day or night, through Sheltersafe.ca, women can find help and support.
Sheltersafe.ca connects women to help close to home. Using a clickable map, women can connect quickly with shelter services in their community. In addition to being a safe place to stay, shelters have 24-hour phone lines to assist women in crisis. This includes helping women to make a safety plan for themselves and for their children. The site underlines that women do not need to be a shelter resident to access shelter services. “We want women to know that they are not alone, that help is available 24-hours a day,” said Lise Martin, Executive Director of the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses.

Sheltersafe.ca provides a single point of information for women seeking safety and quickly identifies a shelter in a specific geographic area. The map provides 24-hour emergency telephone numbers, while protecting the confidential locations of shelters. “The most typical experience for victims of domestic violence is isolation. A map indicating hundreds of points of light, of hope, and of safety is more than a tool. It is a reminder that you are not alone, it is a reminder that whether you live in a large urban centre or in a remote community, that there are resources that can help,” said Dawna Pritchard, Executive Director of a remote shelter in Manitoba.
On any given night, 4,600 women and their 3,600 children are forced to sleep in women’s shelters as a result of domestic violence. The majority of children in shelters are younger than five. On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Sheltersafe.ca is also an important new tool for other helping agencies, employers and the neighbours, friends and families of women experiencing domestic violence.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN NETWORK OF WOMEN’S SHELTERS & TRANSITION HOUSES

The Network brings together 12 provincial and territorial shelter organizations. 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.