Committed to ending the cycle of violence

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Who We Are

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our 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 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.


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.


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.

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.

The Stories of 6 Survivors

Shelter Me is a Rogers Barrie produced documentary film and audience engagement campaign that explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of Canadian life: Domestic Abuse is happening. Every two and a half days in Canada, a woman is murdered by her abusive partner. The question is then always asked: “why didn’t she just leave?” In Focus: Shelter Me shatters the brutality of this logic. Through the eyes of 6 survivors we learn complicated and complex realities of intimate partner violence. Their experiences provide a lens into a world that is largely invisible; a world we have have ignored and locked behind closed doors with our silence – until today.

Our Board of Directors

From left to right: Hina Waheed, Lindsay Danko, Anne Marie Dixon, Kerri Graham, Ira Stevanovic, Lisa Harrisperad, Aaron Geertsema, Wendy Burgess, Rob Broley. Absent: Val Gates

Our board of directors present our 2023/24 Annual Report

Our Sponsors