If you are a woman experiencing abuse, there is someone you can reach out to any time of day or night. You DO NOT need to stay in a shelter to get help.
HOW CAN SHELTERS HELP ME?
If you want support, information or referrals you can call a shelter just to talk. Most shelters on this site have staff available 24 hours, 7 days per week to answer your call. Click on the shelters located in the area you wish to find help.
Shelter workers will work with you to design supports specific to your unique needs. They will maintain confidentiality and advocate for you in the complex web of services you may need to access.
What Is An Emergency Shelter/ Transition House?
It is a safe and welcoming home that accommodates women and their children when they are fleeing violence. Shelter addresses are kept confidential so that women (and children) cannot be found. You can generally stay in these homes for up to 30 days and sometimes longer. There are no charges for you to stay there.
Shelters provide women fleeing violence with the critical support services that will help them make their transition to a life free of abuse. Shelter workers liaise with a number of providers in the community to help women and their children and ensure that they have counseling support and health care.
Staff and volunteers at shelters are there to listen, to offer you emotional support, information and referrals to other services you may need such as legal, financial, medical and housing. In many homes, staff will help you with transportation to appointments and will ensure that children get to school. The women residents generally share household tasks and cooking.
What Is Second-Stage Housing?
Second-stage houses provide short-term, safe, affordable, supportive and independent housing and some services similar to those provided in shelters/transition houses. Women and their children can usually stay at a Second Stage House for 6 months to a year in furnished units. Rent is geared to your income and there are generally no costs for the programs offered by the second stage house.
THINGS TO BRING WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO A SHELTER
- Driver’s license and/or ID
- Birth certificate (yours and your children’s)
- Money, cheque book, debit and credit cards
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Bank book and bank statements
- House keys and car keys
- Social Insurance card
- Address book and phone numbers
- Provincial health card, medications, medical records
- Marriage license, separation and/or divorce papers
- Child custody and access papers
- Passport, Immigration papers or status card
- Peace bonds and/or restraining orders
PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL EMERGENCY PHONE CRISIS LINES
Most provinces have associations of women’s shelters and many provinces and territories have a domestic violence phone line that covers the whole province. These are alternative ways to reach a shelter or related service.
Family Violence Info Line – Toll-free, 24/7, Multilingual
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
VictimLink BC – 24/7 help line providing crisis support in 130 languages. It can connect you to safe emergency shelter, counseling programs and other treatment and healing programs
- TTY 604-875-0885
- Text 604-836-6381
BC Society of Transition Houses
Province-wide Family Violence Helpline – toll-free, 24/7
- TTY 1-888-987-2829
Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Transition House Association of Nova Scotia
YWCA – toll free (no TTY compatibility)
- (867) 873-8257 in Yellowknife
Baffin Regional Agvvik Society – Qimaavik Transition House (Iqualuit) 24/7 crisis line, English and Inuktitut
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL CIRCLE AGAINST FAMILY VIOLENCE
Organization that brings together shelters in Aboriginal communities
Assaulted Women’s Helpline – Free, confidential counseling, emotional support, safety planning and referrals for women needing a shelter, legal advice or other supports. Available 24/7, province-wide in more than 100 different languages including 17 Aboriginal languages.
- TTY 1-866-863-7868
- Rogers, Fido, Bell and Telus – #SAFE (#7233).
Fem’aide – For francophone women, toll-free, province-wide, safety planning and referrals
- TTY 1-866-860-7082
Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig Northern Ontario First Nations crisis line
Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
PEI Family Violence Prevention Services
Organization representing the voices of Inuit women
SOS violence conjugale – Province-wide toll free crisis line, 24/7, toll-free, TTY compatible
Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes
Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale
- 24 Hour Crisis and Abuse Line – 1-800-214-7083
- Abused Women’s Crisis Line – 1-888-338-0880
- North East Crisis Line – 1-800-611-6349 or 1-800-668-6868
Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan
VictimLink BC – Provides immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence in BC and Yukon
- TTY 604-875-0885
- Text 604-836-6381