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With the right kind of help, tiny steps become giant strides.
When you help an abused woman to move out of violence, she can begin to rebuild her life and her children are less likely to grow up to repeat the cycle.
When you help a victim of sex trafficking, she starts to reclaim her life. And when you raise public awareness about sex trafficking in Canada, all women and girls are safer.
- When you teach high school students about healthy relationships, they learn to recognize the early warning signs of abuse. They stay safer on dates and there’s less bullying in their schools.
Thanks to your support, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is helping to stop the violence by investing in the following types of programs in communities across Canada:
For women and children who are escaping violence, shelters offer a safe place to sleep, food, clothes, counselling, and safety planning. We support more than 450 shelters across Canada through our annual campaign to end violence against women.
These programs help women who have escaped domestic violence to rebuild their lives, including legal help, assistance with finding a new place to live, and referrals to employment training and other services. Their children receive counselling that helps them cope with the aftermath of trauma and avoid becoming future victims or abusers.
Services such as safe houses, detox programs, and long-term counseling help survivors of sex trafficking to escape and rebuild their lives. Young women who are being sexually exploited need access to services that improve their safety. Age-appropriate awareness programs teach girls the warning signs of trafficking. Specialized training for police, doctors, teachers, front-line staff in community organizations, and other service providers are designed to improve the community’s ability to recognize and help the victims of sex trafficking.
These school-based projects help to stop the intergenerational cycle of violence by teaching young people about dating violence, gender stereotypes, sexual harassment and how to create safe, healthy relationships.
SECOND STAGE HOUSING
When women move out of an emergency shelter, they often need help to stabilize their life and become economically self-sufficient. These safe housing facilities are designed especially for them. Women and their children live in affordable apartments while attending free on-site services such as job search workshops and counselling. Typical stays range from six to eighteen months.
Many women stay with an abuser because they cannot afford to live on their own. With these small interest-free loans women can pay first and last month’s rent, cover security deposits for heat, hydro, and phone, and cover other essential housing costs so they can escape the violence.
These programs help women and girls who are at risk of violence or sexual assault to improve their safety and build their confidence. They learn about violence prevention strategies, setting personal boundaries, gender stereotypes, healthy relationships, body image and eating disorders, substance abuse, stress management, diversity, and media awareness.
A growing number of community organizations are building networks to help them coordinate the delivery of services, share their knowledge of promising practices, research new violence prevention approaches, and collaborate on strategies to end violence against women and girls.