15 June 2020
Edmonton, Alberta – The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is grateful to the Rogers family for their historic $4.5 million donation to Women’s Shelters Canada in support of those facing domestic violence during COVID-19. A significant portion of the funds will be distributed directly to provincial and territorial associations like ACWS to help build the capacity of the Violence Against Women sector across the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted violence against women and shown that domestic violence remains a serious and urgent problem in Alberta and across the country. Since social distancing measures were introduced, at least 10 women and girls have been killed by intimate partners or family members in Canada, and a man with a history of domestic violence perpetrated Canada’s worst mass murder.
Women’s shelters are going above and beyond to expand and adapt their services during this pandemic. These investments by the Rogers family in the women’s shelter sector will help to ensure survivors of domestic violence have an opportunity to move forward through the recovery phase when they reach out for the necessary supports women’s shelters provide. Supporting women, children, and seniors facing domestic abuse is a critical part of rebuilding better post-pandemic.
“ACWS is supporting women’s shelters to adapt and expand their services to continue meeting the critical safety needs in their communities across Alberta. From the research into disasters and domestic violence, we anticipate a surge of demand for women’s shelter services. We are so grateful for the support of the Rogers family to expand this work and for their recognition of the local expertise of the women’s shelter movement. Nobody is better than women’s shelters to respond to domestic violence in their communities. We will work with our board and members to determine how these funds can best be used to meet the safety needs of Albertans facing domestic violence.”
- Jan Reimer, Executive Director of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
“COVID-19 has taught us that a sector is only as good as its people. Shelter staff have been working creatively to adapt the services they provide to keep women and their children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This gift from the Rogers family will provide much-needed resources to our sector as it continues to adapt to new realities.”
- Lise Martin, Executive Director of Women’s Shelters Canada
“Our family is honoured to be able to do a small part to help Canadians and Canadian families as they try to recover from the difficult financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to so many people, especially people already under financial stress. All of the money will be donated in 2020 so we can make as immediate an impact as possible.”
- Martha Rogers, Chair of The Rogers Foundation.
- Every six days in Canada, a woman is killed by a current or former intimate partner
- Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, and the severity of the violence is on the rise
- 10,128 women, children and seniors were sheltered in 2018/19
- 23,247 women and children requesting shelter were turned away due to a lack of capacity in 2018/19 (a 38% increase from last year)
- Shelters received 60,170 crisis calls
- 68% of men surveyed said they had taken some sort of action to intervene when they saw a woman facing abuse
ACWS is the provincial network organization of women’s shelters in Alberta. ACWS supports 40 members operating over 50 shelters across the province. ACWS serves shelters through our violence-prevention Leading Change call to action; collective data and research; and frontline staff training. Together, we work to end domestic violence. To speak with someone at a women’s shelter, call 1-866-331-3933 or visit acws.ca/shelters to find a shelter near you.
For further information or to arrange for an interview, please contact:
Communications & Social Advocacy Coordinator, ACWS