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The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie has been providing shelter and support services to abused women and children since 1981. The agency consists of a 27 bed crisis shelter along with Outreach services onsite. Approximately 1,000 women and children are assisted by the agency annually. In addition to shelter, staff provide individual and group counselling, legal information and support, court support, information about violence against women, referrals to other community and social services, and public education in the community.
The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie provides a safe refuge and emergency support services for abused women and their children in its commitment to end the cycle of violence.
The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie is a feminist organization that recognizes the many oppressions and barriers that women face both locally and globally. Women have experienced and continue to experience interpersonal, social, and systemic abuse. They have less access to educational opportunities, information, and community resources and are more likely to live in poverty than men in our society. Women are under-represented in corporate and government structures and over-represented in low paying, low status jobs. Immigrant, Indigenous, and Francophone women face additional barriers as do women with disabilities, women living in poverty, elder women, and women from the LGBTQ community.
Intimate partner abuse is not gender neutral. Men commit the overwhelming majority of all violent crimes and usually against women or girls. Almost half (48%) of all violent crimes committed in Canada involve a male perpetrator against a female victim. Thirty-nine percent of violent crimes involve a male perpetrator and a male victim. Women commit 13% of all violent crimes with 6% of those being against males. Women are more likely than men to be seriously injured by their partners and require medical treatment.
Violence against women and children is a coercive expression of male dominance, power, and control, and reflects the gender inequity that exists in our society. As long as our societal systems and institutions are complicit in maintaining and protecting male dominance, gender-based violence will not abate and will continue to be a reality in the lives of women in our community. The Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie is committed to advocating for women’s rights locally and nationally and challenging beliefs, attitudes, and systems that perpetuate gender inequity, sexism, and violence against women.