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Who We Are

Together, ACWS and its members work to end domestic violence—in our homes and throughout our communities.

A registered charity, ACWS is the provincial network organization of women’s shelters in Alberta. We bring close to four decades of experience and knowledge to serve our 40 members operating over 50 shelters across the province for women, children, and seniors facing domestic abuse. We advocate for ACWS members and work with them to end domestic violence through culture-shifting violence prevention programs, collective data and research, and front-line training. With support from ACWS, Alberta shelters are helping to provide safety, support families, and improve communities.

Domestic violence remains a serious and urgent problem in Alberta. Collectively, we are challenging the harmful beliefs and actions that perpetuate domestic violence in our communities.




We believe in a world free from violence and abuse.


Our mission is to support ACWS members and work together to end domestic violence and abuse.


  • We believe in empowerment for women and the equal worth of all persons.
  • We believe in strength of numbers together for a common mission
  • We believe that the issues of violence and abuse are the responsibilities of the entire community including legal, social and political structures.

Our Values

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.

Our values are the foundation upon which our strategic goals are based.

Strategic Goals

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

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. 

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

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

ACWS History Project

The ACWS began with a box of files and nine founding members who recognized that with their combined strengths, passion and dedication, they were stronger.

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