Philosophy

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 than 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.

Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Statement of Purpose

 The Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie is committed to the elimination of systemic racism and oppression.  It is our intention to create a diverse global community of inclusiveness, equality and respect for everyone.  Discrimination in all forms will be challenged and viewed as an opportunity to advise and educate.

Beliefs

  • All persons have the right to live free from the presence and threat of violence.
  • All persons have the right to live in a peaceful and nurturing environment.
  • The individual strengths and resources of each person deserve recognition and respect.
  • All persons will develop to their greatest potential when given adequate and appropriate support and information.
  • The equality, dignity, and uniqueness of all persons must be recognized and supported at both an individual and social level.

Aims

At the Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie we strive to ensure that all of our services and programs are offered in a non-judgmental, non-oppressive, non-racist, and respectful manner.  To achieve this goal we:

  • provide a safe and supportive space for women and children;
  • commit to providing all programs and services in a confidential manner;
  • respect and honour the rights of women and children;
  • assist women to explore their options and respect their choices;
  • work towards achieving equity for women locally, nationally, and globally;
  • ensure accessibility of all services;
  • recognize and respect differences and diversity between and amongst women;
  • provide information and education about violence against women to community members and other service providers.

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