“When I left, I had a suitcase, a big garbage bag full of clothes, $300 and no actual job,” Sarah Welsh told the CBC. “I might have been on the streets, or I don’t know where I’d be.”
Sarah Welsh is just one example of what many women go through. Abused women in Canada remain exposed to violence and homelessness due to the fact that they had no proper shelter to sustain themselves with. Many shelters often restrict the comers’ stay to only 30 days. A recent report by the CBC documented many complaints about the limited stay for women who have been abused or have found themselves homeless.
It should not be a struggle for women being abused to find a place to stay during an emergency crisis and it is unrealistic for any person who has been abused to have only a limited time to stay at a shelter and to be expected to leave after that time is up. This has left many women across Canada in danger.
Women’s Shelters Canada and many of the women who spoke to the CBC are calling for increases to the amount of second-stage shelters, which are shelters that provide more security, safety, help and support. These shelters offer women and children a longer stay, up to 2 years. They also provide counselling for any sorts of issues such as trauma, addiction, poverty and the help of being more independent.
If more second-stage shelters are not added this is putting many women and children at risk and danger. It could cause them to be homeless or return to an abusive relationship which could cause more trauma.
Women and children are still being turned away from limited stay shelters thousands of times every month.
Creating more shelters with longer stays and better benefits is one step Canada needs to take to decrease domestic violence. With access to more platforms for raising awareness it provides young women with the right knowledge in situations like these. Charities and social media accounts that could possibly spread this word would raise lots of awareness and realization on the problem that has left and is leaving women and children in danger.
Agencies such as Women’s shelter Canada is offering counselling with a place to stay which has already helped women all across Canada.
Women are in need of help at this moment. This problem has left children without a home. How long is it until Canada takes that next step and starts creating a stay for our loved ones?
Image: Chris Young, Canadian Press