About ACWS

We Believe

In empowerment for women and equal worth of all persons.

In strength of numbers together for a common mission.

That the issues of violence and abuse are the responsibility of the entire community including legal, social and political structures. 


We believe in a world free from violence and abuse.


To support our members and work together to end domestic violence and abuse.


Shelters serve women, children and seniors: we serve shelters.  We are evidence-based, collaborative in our approach and mission-driven.

We serve shelters across three main programme areas:

Corporate and Community Change - our Leading Change Call to Action

Collective Data & Research - including our Annual Data Release and our Inventory on Promising Practices

Frontline Education & Training initiatives 

Every day, 39 ACWS members across the province do remarkable work.  Shelters save lives, strengthen families and improve communities.

ACWS: Working Together to End Domestic Violence.

ACWS’s Ethical/ Moral Framework

ACWS Position Statements

Statement of Principles and Values

Traditional Land Acknowledgment 

ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001



At ACWS, we value: 

Women's Equality and Empowerment

Imbalance in power relations excludes women from decision-making across all aspects of our society.  With a focus on women’s strengths we promote their rights, needs, and the value of their lived experience. We seek to create women-centred service provision which promotes equality, improves outcomes for women (and their families), reduces long-term costs and builds stronger communities.


We recognize and pro-actively affirm the dignity of all, regardless of heritage, education, beliefs, race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental capabilities, or income.  We value the welcoming spaces created by ACWS members so women, children and seniors fleeing violence may heal from their trauma without attempts by abusers, and others, to impose their values, customs or beliefs. 


By working together, in concert with and in service of our members, to achieve our vision we increase understanding and effectiveness, open access to resources, and maximize the impact of our voice in changing society. 


We are stewards of the many resources gifted to us by women, of past, present and future generations.  We commit to appropriate management of the financial resources and sustainability of ACWS and the support of our members while also caring for the earth by restoring and protecting it. 


Strategic Goals 

Strategic Goal 1: We work collectively

ACWS leads and supports member initiatives which mobilize stakeholders to work collectively to end domestic violence and abuse.


Strategic Goal 2: We share knowledge

ACWS, in concert with our members, shares and develops knowledge, resources and connections to steadily advance responses to domestic violence and abuse.


Strategic Goal 3: We change systems

ACWS champions changes to systems, policies and practices to improve services for women, children and seniors experiencing violence and abuse. 


Strategic Goal 4: We change culture

ACWS takes action to transform the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate violence against women, children and seniors through increased public awareness and conversation.


Traditional Land Acknowledgment

ACWS acknowledges the traditional lands upon which we live, work, and play. We recognize that all Albertans are Treaty people and have a responsibility to understand our history so That we can honor the past, be aware of the present, and create a just and caring future. ACWS celebrates and values the resiliency, successes, and teachings that Alberta’s Indigenous people have shown us, as well as the unique contributions of every Albertan.

The ACWS office is located on Treaty 6 land, which is the traditional territory of the Plains Cree and an ancient gathering place of many Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. These lands have also been home to and a central trading place of the Blackfoot, Nakota, Assiniboine, Dene, and the Métis people of western Canada.

We honour the courage and strength of Indigenous women. We honor them as life givers and caregivers as we honor and learn from their continuing achievements, their consistent strength, and their remarkable endurance.

Our members – and the participating shelters in this project - serve all nations and all peoples; they are located on Treaty 6, 7 and 8 lands across this province which include the six Metis regions of Alberta.