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What is a women's shelter?

A safe place

If you are a woman who is being hurt or abused in your home, you can go to a women's shelter. It's a safe and free place to stay until you find a new home.

Staff at women's shelters provide free help to women and their children. You don't have to live at the shelter to access many of these services:

  • safety planning
  • help finding housing, income support and child care
  • information about your legal rights
  • counselling for women and children
  • referrals to other services

If you don't speak English, or if you are more comfortable talking about your experiences in another language, the women's shelter staff will be able to find you a free language interpreter (including ASL).

Who can go to a women's shelter?

Women can bring their children with them if they go to a shelter. Shelters have toys and spaces just for children. Children who have lived with woman abuse might need special support and shelters can help you get this.

There are age restrictions for children. If you are concerned about a child who is 16 or older, talk with shelter staff.

Shelters also welcome women who don't have children or who don't come with their children.

If you require a live-in support person, this person will be able to join you at the shelter.

Service animals can also come to women's shelters. While pets are not allowed, shelter workers may be able to help you find a safe place for your pet to stay.

Next Steps

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