The Kootenai Community Centre office on Cook Street.

The Kootenai Community Centre office on Cook Street.

New website helps women across Canada seeking safety

Web Lead

The Irivne House Safe Home and Creston Older Women’s Safe Home Program, run by Creston’s Kootenai Community Centre Society, celebrated the June 4 launch of the new Sheltersafe.ca online resource to help women seeking safety from abuse.

With the launch of Sheltersafe.ca, women and children across the country will have a one-stop connection to help in their community. Any time of day or night women can find local support through Sheltersafe.ca.

The new site provides a single point of information for women seeking safety by quickly identifying a shelter within a geographic region. The map provides telephone numbers and websites, while protecting the confidential locations of shelters.

Sheltersafe.ca also underlines that women do not need to reside as a shelter resident in order to access shelter services, because in addition to being a safe place to stay, many shelters offer telephone support, counselling and safety planning for women in crisis. The site quickly points concerned family, friends and neighbours to someone they can talk to about suspected abuse of a loved one.

This resource was developed by the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses, which represents over 350 women’s shelters across Canada.

“The most typical experience for victims of domestic violence is isolation,” said Dawna Pritchard, executive director of a remote shelter in Manitoba. “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, there is domestic violence and that there are resources that can help.”

Irvine House Safe Home and Creston Older Women’s Safe Home Program is a founding participant in the Sheltersafe.ca initiative and can be found by zooming into the Creston region on the map of Canada.

—KOOTENAI COMMUNITY CENTRE