The Shelter provides safe, supportive accommodation for up to 30 days for women (cisgender and transgender) and non-binary and two-spirit people who identify as part of the women’s community, with or without children. This service is more than just safe housing; it’s a place of renewal and support. A wide range of help is available including:

  • Advocacy and help to access community programs and services
  • Information and referrals to lawyers, income assistance, low-income housing, etc.
  • Information on legal issues (such as custody and access)
  • Education and counselling on the dynamics of intimate partner violence and abuse
  • Help to develop a safety plan
  • Weekly support groups for women in the Shelter on issues such as self-esteem, self-care and assertiveness
  • Assistance with transportation to appointments

Additionally, the Shelter provides programs specifically for children who have come with their mothers and have witnessed intimate partner violence and abuse in their homes. When children leave their homes and come to a strange place, they are often very frightened and confused.

The children’s staff and volunteers provide support and counselling for children, parenting assistance and support, child care, and often just fun normal activities that the children have perhaps not experienced for a long time. A fully equipped playroom provides a haven for children to regain their childhood.

Research by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found that nearly 65 % of domestic violence survivors were unable to escape abusive situations due to the fear of what would happen to their pets. If you have a pet or companion animal in your family it can make the decision to leave an abusive situation even more complicated. Pets are often subject to abuse themselves, or used as a tool, with abusers threatening violence towards a pet if a woman leaves. We understand how impossible it might feel to leave a beloved pet when fleeing an abusive situation but also, how challenging it can be to find accommodation that accepts pets.

Victoria Women’s Transition House has some resources and connections within the community to support women who are fleeing abuse in temporarily sheltering their pet. If you need help call our 24hr Crisis and Information Line and talk to us about Pet Boarding.