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History

With its history dating back to 1983, the ACWS began with a box of files and nine founding shelters who recognized that with their combined strengths, passion and dedication, they were stronger. Almost 40 years later, the ACWS is 39 members strong and is Alberta’s leading body of action against gender-based violence. 

This project is supported by the Edmonton Heritage Council and the City of Edmonton.

The book, Standing Together: Women Speak Out About Violence and Abuse, is available to purchase here.

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Standing Together: Women Speak Out About Violence and Abuse

Audio version now available to stream online!

Standing Together is a powerful expression of women’s collective and individual strength. It is a collection of personal stories from women who have suffered the horrors of violence and abuse and have made the hardest decision: to stand up, choose life, take control and walk away from the darkness.

The stories in Standing Together were originally published in 2005, written by women of all ages, professions, and ethnicities, from rural and urban areas and all social backgrounds, and edited by Linda Goyette. ACWS put out a call for survivors who wanted to share their writing about their experiences, and the stories flooded in. They tell of abuse at the hands of husbands, boyfriends and partners, fathers and strangers. They tell of deciding to seek help, leaving a life of fear for one of hope. They tell of the family, friends, and strangers that helped them rebuild their lives. Taken together, they form a greater story of hope and inspiration: You are not alone. You can make a change. You can survive this, get through the pain, and build a new life. You have the strength; we have the strength when we stand together.

Today, in addition to the tremendous work of the ACWS and its member organizations, we are also compiling the history of women’s shelters in Alberta. This historical piece will feature pioneers of the province’s shelters, advocates of women’s rights, the communities that embraced and supported the shelters, and more. As with historical pieces, the book will represent the changes, challenges and triumphs of Alberta’s women’s shelters.

Coming Soon!