“Coming to this shelter gave me an understanding that I wasn’t alone in this. I got stronger mentally. My experience here at the shelter was a very positive one. The help I received was amazing and the bond I made with the women were like family. This shelter is amazing, never being in a shelter before they saved my life and I will always be grateful. Thank you!!”
~ former VWTH Client
Emergency Shelter Update
From the Deputy Director, Parm Kroad
Victoria Women’s Transition House, considered an essential service, continues to operate throughout the pandemic, offering emergency shelter and support services to women and their children impacted by gender-based violence and abuse. We are following heightened safety protocols including physical distancing and strict sanitation procedures, with digital and phone counselling offered for women and their families. COVID-19 has made service delivery more challenging, but we are committed to supporting these courageous yet vulnerable individuals in our community.  

In the past year, Shelter staff have provided direct service to 120 women and 55 children. Referrals have come from a variety of sources including police, hospital staff, community service agencies, and from the women directly. Our Crisis Line fielded over 1941 calls, which were attended to by both shelter staff and Crisis Line volunteers.

In March 2020, our Shelter operations temporarily changed due to the current global pandemic. Staff worked extremely hard to adapt to the changes and to keep women and children safe and sheltered. We have followed WorkSafe requirements and other safety recommendations to implement new protocols and safety measures, to ensure all are safe.

Our Volunteer program provides many hours of service to the Shelter in the form of grocery shopping, baking/cooking meals, organizing clothing closets, stocking kitchen shelves, gardening, and small repair projects. We have had a volunteer carpenter donate his time to one of our on-going projects this year. Since the pandemic, there have been no volunteers working in the shelter, but work continues outside the shelter walls.

Our organization continues to partner with the University of Victoria and Camosun College by providing training and mentorship for practicum students from their Social Work, Child and Youth Care, and the Early Learning and Care Program. We have also again received funding this year for a summer student through a Canada Summer Jobs grant.
Indigenous Reconciliation and Cultural Safety
From the Executive Director, Makenna Rielly
As part of our work here at VWTH, we are committed to focusing on Indigenous reconciliation within our Society to enhance services for Indigenous women and children fleeing intimate partner violence. We are forming a Working Group and bringing together an Advisory Circle to provide advice and recommendations on how to best offer strengths-based services to support Indigenous women. Members will meet weekly to set terms of reference, goals, and priorities.

All staff and volunteers will be asked to complete an online workshop called Trauma-Informed Practice Foundations that will give a foundational understanding of Indigenous perspectives and respecting diversity through a trauma-based perspective. This work is essential and is part of our Accessibility Plan to welcome and work with Indigenous people and offer better services.
Miranda's* Story
“Miranda” is a 64-year old woman who came to our shelter in January 2020. She had recently fled from an abusive relationship in another province. Miranda and her abusive partner were in an “on and off again” relationship for the last two and a half years. She described herself as the enabler in the relationship, serving her partner in every aspect, emotionally, intimately, financially, and described her partner as an abusive alcoholic who also struggled with drug addiction. There had been many abusive incidents during this relationship and the final incident involved her partner threatening her with a rifle. Miranda decided that night to leave her partner. Initially, she stayed at a friend's house, and then she fled to another city where she made a police report and obtained a protection order. Miranda had never been to the police before as her partner used gaslighting techniques to convince her that they would never believe her or help her. Miranda moved to Victoria where she initially stayed at a local hostel, and then she contacted our Shelter for help and support. She had previously owned her own business but her abusive relationship had taken its toll on her, so she needed some help getting back on her feet again. Counsellors provided support for Miranda, helped her to obtain needed medical help, and referred her to various community organizations to help her with a donation of household items, gently used professional clothing and a haircut. Very quickly, Miranda regained her confidence and felt like she was ready to make a brand new start here in Victoria. Miranda also connected with our Older Women’s Program, and within a short time, she was attending their support groups, and then eventually she was accepted into our Safe Home program.

*Name is changed for privacy.

For more information on our emergency shelter, counselling and support services for women and their children fleeing intimate partner violence and abuse, please call our 24-hour Crisis and Information Line, 250-385-6611 or consult transitionhouse.net
A harmful form of psychological manipulation, gaslighting is a common tool used to gain power and control in a relationship. Gaslighting includes being fed constant misinformation and is used to create self-doubt and uncertainty in the victim, leading them to question their own realities, memories and even their sanity.

Gaslighting is particularly problematic during the pandemic, as heightened anxieties and fears exacerbate the desire to gain control over a partner. Social isolation allows abusers to more easily employ gaslighting techniques, as the victim relies solely on the abuser for feedback and sources of information. Anxieties related to COVID-19 make it significantly harder to leave the abusive relationship and the security of home.

If you suspect that your partner is gaslighting you, it’s important not to second guess yourself. Try to recognize the patterns and realize that gaslighting is a form of power and control. It's helpful to develop a support network of friends and family, even if that is virtual support, who can confirm your reality and sense of what is true.

Our 24 Hour Crisis and Information Line is always available. Call 250-385-6611 .
Violence Is Preventable Video Release
We are thrilled to release our Violence Is Preventable video for young children! Our Children and Youth counsellors have been giving presentations in schools for years, and with the recent school closures, they decided to make a video to help kids stay safe and know they are not alone if they witness fighting at home. We are grateful to  Roll.Focus. Productions  for helping us bring this project to life.
Community Support
VWTH is deeply grateful to our many donors including individuals, corporations, foundations, funders and service clubs that provide generous funding support for many of our programs. We are also grateful for the recent handmade cloth face masks and children's books from individual donors.

Our thanks to Peninsula Coop for supporting the 2020 PEACE Children’s Camp program. We are very grateful to Kirsty Thomson of Willow Wealth Management, Raymond James and the Raymond James Foundation, The Ocean Park Foundation , The All One Fund , Kim Potash and the Barbara and Philip Potash Foundation, CIBC Wood Gundy, Laura Harris Creative Inc, and to Carl Newman and Helen Buck for your generous donations. The VWTH Family Legal Advocacy program received funding and support from the Law Foundation of British Columbia and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch . Thanks to funds from Women’s Shelters Canada , we were able to hire an additional Outreach Worker.

Raise the Roof for Shelter

Raise the Roof for Shelter is a Victoria fundraiser started by the Modern Real Estate Team in 2013. The money raised supports the Royal LePage Shelter Foundatio n and the funds are redirected back into our community to support four local women's shelters: Victoria Women's Transition House , The Cridge Centre for the Family Transition House for Women, Margaret Laurence House and Sooke Transition House Society .

Due to COVID-19, the Modern Real Estate Team hosted a successful, on-line auction this yea r instead of their Fall fundraiser. An in-person event will hopefully take place in the Spring of 2021!
Canada Day Virtual Fundraiser

The Pendry Inn and Tea House   and Huntingdon Manor  hosted a Canada Day virtual fundraising event in support of Victoria Women's Transition House. Thank you, Pendry Inn and Tea House and Huntingdon Manor!
7th Juan de Fuca Scouts

With Covid-19 and physical distancing making it challenging for Scouts to sell their fundraising chocolates, one Vancouver Island Scout mom and some generous supporters purchased the chocolate, and re-directed the delicious treats to Victoria Women’s Transition House clients and front-line staff. Thank you very much 7th Juan de Fuca Scout group and supportive friends!
Lush Cosmetics Victoria

Thank you  Lush Cosmetics Victoria - Government Street  for the bag of colourful fizzy Bath Bombs and 11 enormous shopping bags filled with beautifully wrapped LUSH giftset boxes. These items will be distributed to appreciative VWTH clients, volunteers and front-line staff.
Save the Date
VWTH Annual General Meeting 2020
Date: Tuesday, September 22
Time: 2:00PM
Location: Due to health and safety considerations, our 2020 AGM will take place over Zoom. Further details will be released closer to the date.

If you would like to virtually join us at our AGM, please RSVP to Laura Reniero at  [email protected]
In case you missed it...
Victoria Women’s Transition House Society collaborates, advocates and educates to address and prevent intimate partner violence and abuse of women and children through supportive shelter, housing, counselling and other community-based services.

Victoria Women's Transition House Society is a registered charity. 
Our charitable registration number is: 10817 3501 RR0001.
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Territory Acknowledgment