New report shows challenges facing shelters in Canada

93.44 per cent of women reported that they had been intimidated and received threats via technology (cell phones, texts, emails). 

Ottawa (20 June 2017) — Women’s Shelters Canada (formerly the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses) has released the results of its fourth national survey of transition houses and shelters. The report, Shelter Voices 2017, provides a one-day snapshot from 193 shelters across Canada. 

Snapshot reveals how many women, children supported in one day

On a single day, the 193 transition houses and shelters were housing and assisting 1,432 women and 1,025 children.  An additional 1,712 women and 398 children were supported through outreach programs. 

On that day, there were 356 requests for residential services from women and 250 children at 105 transition houses and shelters.  Only 83 women and 68 children were able to become new residents. 

44 per cent of transition houses and shelters that were surveyed reported that they had no available space on the snapshot day. 

Abusers using technology to track women, children

In addition to capacity questions, the survey also asked questions about the growing use of technology by abusers to harm and harass women and children. 93.44 per cent of women reported that they had been intimidated and received threats via technology (cell phones, texts, emails).  66.12 per cent reported that their abuser had tracked their location via a GPS device or phone.

As well, shelters and shelter staff are being affected by the misuse of technology. Toys and cell phones given to children by their fathers put the security of confidential shelter locations and their residents at risk. 

Of the shelters surveyed, 87 per cent work with women and children on a safety plan for the use of their technology. The majority of shelters voiced the need for more resources to address the issue and for further training on technological safety.


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE