Life in a shelter
For many, the thought of ending up in a shelter is often frightening. La Traverse Shelter offers a safe, confidential, free and warm place to talk with other women who want to break the cycle of violence. In addition, support workers are available day and night to provide support. Children are also welcomed and can benefit from the services of a youth worker (mother-child). A play area is set up for them. La maison d’hébergement a le souci d’intimité, ainsi, chaque femme bénéficie d’une chambre qu’elle partage avec ses enfants seulement. The common areas are accessible, like a large family home. We encourage mutual aid, respect and non-judgment; these values are at the heart of our house. The women who live in the house have the possibility to go about their personal business: work, studies, etc.
The feminist intervention
The workers at the Maison d’accueil La Traverse use the feminist approach to guide their daily interventions. This analysis stems from the fact that domestic violence is not an individual problem, but a societal problem that is embedded in the power relationships between men and women.
Feminist intervention is based on a set of guiding principles whose ultimate goal is to empower women individually and collectively to take back control of their lives. Although they are defined in terms of women, we must remember that these same principles also apply to working with children. Here are the principles that unite the lodging houses:
– that women regain power over their lives through solidarity between women, egalitarian relationships and the defense of their rights;
– that women and children who are victims of domestic violence are not responsible for the violence they experience;
– that women have the right to autonomy, respect and freedom;
– that women have the potential and the skills to direct their lives and make decisions that are in their best interest.
Reference: Guide de l’intervention féministe 2008, 48 pages Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale