The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter is a front line agency providing hope and support to women, children, youth, and men impacted by family violence and abuse in our community. “Taking a Stand Against Family Violence” since 1974, the agency has helped more than 240,000 Calgarians build safe lives and healthy relationships.
Though the Emergency Shelter is the cornerstone of the organization, it is “More than a Shelter”, providing a number of innovative safety, healing, and prevention programs in the community.
· 24Hr Family Violence Helpline
· Emergency Shelter
· Child, Youth, and Family Program
· Community Services Counselling
· Court Support
· Men’s Counselling Service
· Healthy Relationships, a violence prevention program for youth
· Take A Stand Presentations, a public education initiative empowering community members to effectively support victims
TOUR THE CALGARY WOMEN’S EMERGENCY SHELTER
Take our brief virtual tour of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter to see where hope thrives. Click the link.
As an organization we are focused on supporting individuals and families building new lives free of family violence by heightening awareness of family violence as a serious community issue, and strengthening community partnerships to deliver a seamless continuum of services to our clients.
FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ABUSE INCREASES THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC
In Calgary, the Calgary Police Service reported more than 25,000 domestic related incidents in 2019. When looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family violence and abuse in Calgary, the Calgary Police Service reported a 21% increase in domestic conflict calls during the second quarter of 2020 when Calgary was in a widespread lockdown. Our 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline experienced a 65% increase in crisis calls from women in immediate danger at times during the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the Emergency Shelter and our community based programs remained available because of support from the community. In fact, in some areas we were able to increase program capacity along side the increase in demand for our services.
For children living with family violence and abuse, the pandemic has been devastating. Children are 21.5% more likely to be exposed to or victims of violence and abuse than they were prior to the pandemic. Further, children experiencing family violence are at an increased the risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence later in life and a greater risk of adverse health effects as adults.
Programs and Services
Evaluation results show that providing a safe place away from a perpetrator is very important to victims. Our Emergency Shelter facility is one of the largest in Alberta offering safe and confidential accommodation to 600 women and children each year. In addition, our community based programs provide a continuum of services and safety to upwards of 15,000 individuals annually, ensuring essential resources to help build safe lives can be accessed.
Professionally trained counsellors are available 24-hours per day, 365 days a year, to provide counselling, information, and appropriate referrals. All our programs and services can be accessed by calling the 24-Hour Helpline. The counsellors provide support in multiple languages.
The Emergency Shelter provides safe and secure accommodation, food, clothing, referral services and counselling for women and their children seeking safety and support after leaving an abusive situation. The Emergency Shelter can accommodate 50 women and children at any given time and provides a safe place to stay for up to 21 days.
The Child, Youth, and Family Program is available to all clients. Depending on the family’s situation, the age of the child/youth, and the needs of the family, services may include: individual counselling for the child, family counselling with parent(s) and child, safety planning, “Ages-and-Stages” developmental screening, play-based therapy, and navigation of community services. The Children’s Activity Centre within the Emergency Shelter provides a blend of structured and child-led play where the focus with the children is on keeping oneself safe, identifying emotions, and providing opportunities for socialization.
This program focuses on serving women who want short-term, crisis-oriented support as well as longer-term counselling, while living in the community and who are unable or choose not to enter the Emergency Shelter. Our Community Services Counsellors provide counselling in a safe place in the community that supports safety planning, case planning, parenting support, and navigation of community resources which are available to meet the needs of the women and their children.
The Court Program provides navigation of court system for women who are experiencing family violence and abuse. A Court Coordinator provides information and options on Emergency Protection Orders, safety planning for court, referrals to community resources, legal information and options, and accompaniment to court.
The Men’s Counselling Service offers non-judgmental individual and/or group counselling to men who are concerned their anger and abusive behaviours are negatively impacting their family members. It addresses the need for men to take responsibility for their abusive behaviours, and their ability to change them. Women’s and children’s safety is of prime concern in this program, so counselling and safety planning is also provided to men’s partners and their children.
Healthy Relationships is a school-based program which provides prevention and early intervention group and individual counselling to youth, 12 and older. The program focuses on topics such as family violence and abuse, boundaries, self-esteem, communication, healthy expression of feelings, and skill-building.
This initiative educates and empowers community members to effectively support victims. Presentations are offered to organizations and community groups which help people learn how to identify family violence and abuse in all its forms, ways to respond compassionately to victims, and how to connect them with resources. This is an important means of violence prevention of which we can all be a part.
The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter fundraises for 50% of our dollars, relying on support from the community, corporations, and individuals . Family violence and abuse has no boundaries and happens in every quadrant of Calgary. It is a community issue that can only be solved if everyone gets involved and Takes A Stand. Here are some of the ways you can help end family violence and abuse.
LEARN more about family violence and abuse on our website.
HELP someone you know or think is being abused.
SPEAK UP and start the conversation about family violence and abuse.
VOLUNTEER with the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
HOST AN EVENT with proceeds donated to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
PROVIDE the essentials for the women and children we serve. Learn about what items are most needed on our Wish List.