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“Love a Shelter” Valentine’s Day Campaign

February 2, 2023

“Love a Shelter”: Alberta Council Of Women’s Shelters Launches Valentine’s Day Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign

Campaign to Kick-Off in Schools Across the Province

This February, the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is launching a Valentine’s Day awareness campaign to bring attention to the ongoing violence against women and gender minorities, as well as to highlight the labour of love that domestic violence shelters undertake to support those fleeing violence and abuse.  

“Valentine’s Day is not just about heart-shaped boxes and the idea of ‘perfect relationships.’ It’s also about acknowledging the women who are suffering behind closed doors,” said ACWS Executive Director, Jan Reimer. 

The “Love a Shelter” campaign is kicking  off in schools across the province, where students have been invited to write a Valentine’s Day letter of appreciation to the staff at their local domestic violence shelter. Shelters undertake prevention work in communities and in schools, where they encourage children to develop an understanding of healthy relationships. 

“In order to break the cycle of violence and change culture, that work needs begins at a young age,” said said Leslie Allen, the Executive Director of WIN House in Edmonton, one of the shelters participating in the campaign. “In shelters, on a daily basis, we see the pain and trauma that gender-based violence and domestic violence causes. Family violence impacts both adults and children, deeply. We can help develop safer communities over time by working with children and teaching them what healthy relationships look like, as well as making sure they know where they can turn to if they need help if abuse is happening at home.” 

ACWS invites the public to join in the campaign by sending a Valentine of support to their local shelter—these valentines will then be collected and passed on to the government to demonstrate public support for shelters and the women that they support. A list of mailing addresses for participating shelters can be found at the end of this page. 

Shelters across the province are currently struggling to meet the demand for their services. The valentines letters are a way to participate in social advocacy to create change, as well as to express to survivors of domestic violence that they are not alone—they are loved and supported by their communities. 

Quick Facts: 

  • ACWS member shelters housed over 300 survivors and their children on Valentine’s Day 2022. 
  • A 2017 University of Calgary study demonstrated the connection between sporting events, holidays and domestic violence, also revealed there is an increase of calls to authorities regarding domestic violence on numerous holidays, including Valentine’s Day.  
  • Across Alberta last fiscal year, 3,373 children were admitted to ACWS member shelters with their mothers. 
  • For children, exposure to domestic violence can be as harmful as directly experiencing acts of violence.  
  • The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters recently launched an online training platform with a course designed for people who work with children who may have been exposed to domestic violence. The Healing Brain: Supporting Children from Trauma to Resilience curriculum–designed for teachers, daycare workers, coaches, and anyone who works with children–gives participants a better understanding of early childhood brain development, the impacts of trauma on children, and how to nurture resilience in children who have been exposed to domestic violence.  

To arrange an interview with a shelter or a  participating school, please contact Olivia Street at olivia.street@acws.ca to be connected with the ACWS member shelter in your community.

Shelter Mailing Addresses

Use the following addresses to send mail to your local shelter! You can also find a list of all ACWS member shelters here, in order to donate to a specific shelter:

Brenda Stafford Center (Brenda Strafford Foundation Heart Home Network) – Box 61141, Kensington Postal Outlet, T2N 4S6, Calgary 

Cantara Safe House (Brooks and District Women’s Safe Shelter Society) – PO Box 1045, T1R 1B8, Brooks 

Camrose Women’s Shelter (Camrose Women’s Shelter Society) – PO Box 1405, T4V 1X3, Camrose 

Maskan (Canadian Pakistani Support Group Association) – 477 Livingstone View NE, Calgary 

Capella Centre (Capella Centre Alberta)– PO Box 1237, T0A 3A0, St.Paul 

Lurana Shelter (Catholic Social Services) – 12431 Stony Plain Road , T5N 3N3, Edmonton 

Julietta’s Place (Central Alberta Outreach Society) – 4101 54 Ave, T4N 7G3, Red Deer  

Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter Society) – PO Box 561- T4N 5G1  

Discovery House (Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society) – Po Box 58058 Alberta Park PO T2A 7R7  

Cochranes women’s shelters society – Box 1544 T4C 1B5  

Edmonton Women’s Shelter Ltd. – PO Box 20088 RPO Beverly T5W 5E6  

Crossroads resource center (Fairview and District Women’s Centre Association) – Box 1194 T0H 1L0  

Grande Cache Transition House (Grande Cache Transition House Society) – Box 1242 T0E 0Y0 

Odyssey House / Serenity Place (Grande Prairie Women’s Residence Association) – Box 1395 T8V 0J5 

Hope Haven Women’s Shelter (Hope Haven Society) – PO Box 2168 T0A 2C0 

Jessie House (Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation) – Box 3167 T8R 1S1 

Kerby Rotary Shelter (Kerby Assembly) – 1133 7th Ave SW T2P 1B2  

Dol Mar Manor / Lloydminster Interval Home (Lloydminster Interval Home Society Inc.) – PO Box 1523 S9V 1K5 

Musasa House/ Phoenix Safe House – Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society – PO Box 1523 S9V 1K5 

Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter Association (Rocky Mountain House) – PO Box 325 T4T 1A3 

Northern Haven Northern Haven Support Society – PO Box 1433 T0G 2A0  

Safe Home (Northwest Alberta Resource Society) – PO Box 396 T0H 1Z0  

Peace River Regional Womens Shelter (Peace River Regional Women’s Shelter Society) – PO Box 7738 T8S 1T3  

Pincher Creek Womens Emergency Shelter (Pincher Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter Association) – PO Box 2092 T0K 1W0 

Rowan House Emergency Shelter (Rowan House Society) – PO Box 5121 T1V 1M3 

Safe Haven (Safe Haven Women’s Shelter Society) – PO Box 4113 T1G 2C6 

Sage Seniors Safe House (Sage Seniors Association) – 15 Sir Winston Churchill Square T5J 2E5  

Sonshine Center (Sonshine Society of Christian Community Services) – PO Box 34067 RPO Westbrook T3C 3W2  

Stepping Stones Crisis Society – PO Box 419 T9M 1P1 

Eagle’s Nest Stoney Family Shelter (Stoney Tribal Administration) – PO Box 820 T0L 1N0  

A Safe Place (Strathcona Shelter Society Ltd.) – PO 3282 T8H 2T2  

Sucker Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter (Sucker Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter Society) – P.O. Box 231 T0G 0W0  

Unity House (Waypoints Community Services Association) – #100 – 130 Prospect Drive T9K 2Z5 

Wellspring Family Resource and Crisis Center (Wellspring Family Resource & Crisis Centre Society) – 5116 51 Ave T7S 1A1 

Wheatland Shelter (Wheatland Crisis Society) – PO Box 2162 T1P 1K2  

Wings of Providence – (Wings of Providence Society Ltd.) – PO Box 32141 T6K 4C2 

Bow Valley Emergency Shelter (YWCA of Banff) – PO Box 520 

YWCA Harbour House (YWCA of Lethbridge & District) – 604 8 Street S T1J 2K1  

Yellowhead Emergency Shelter (Yellowhead Emergency Shelter) – PO Box 6401 T7V 1X7