During the course of one day, nearly 8,000 women and children in Canada were found to reside in one of the 627 shelters for abused women operating across the country.
However, 338 women and 201 accompanying children were turned away from shelters due to a lack of room and resources. In fact, 56 per cent of all reasons for a turn-away was because the shelter in question was full.
Gathering information from a snapshot date on April 16th, 2014, a national survey conducted by Statistics Canada found that almost three-quarters of women using shelters were there primarily because of abuse, representing a rate of 22 women per 100,000 women aged 15 and older.
Out of the 7,969 women and children living in shelters, 37 per cent were staying at transition homes, 23 per cent were utilizing second-stage housing, 23 per cent were using emergency shelters, and 13 per cent were residing in women’s emergency centres.
Moreover, one-quarter of all women staying in a shelter in Canada had stayed at that same shelter in the past. The highest rate of re-admissions was reported by women’s emergency centres, where over four in ten residents said they had previously stayed at the same shelter.
Over half of the women, 66 per cent, residing in shelters suffered from emotional abuse, and approximately half were the victims of physical abuse. A staggering 69 per cent of these women identified their current partner as their abuser. Just over half of the women were admitted with their children.
According to Statistics Canada, these abusive situations were not often reported, as almost half of women in shelters for reasons of abuse did not contact police.
Information for this report was derived from a snapshot date on April 16, 2014.