Life in a shelter
For many, considering ending up in a shelter is often distressing. La Traverse Shelter offers a safe, confidential, free and warm place where it is possible to exchange with other women who want to break the cycle of violence. In addition, cousellors are present day and night to provide support. Children are also welcomed and will benefit from the services of a youth consellor (mother-child). A playground is set up for them. The shelter pays attention to privacy, so each woman can have a room that she shares only with her children. The common areas are accessible, as in a large family home. We encourage mutual aid, respect and non-judgment; these values are at the heart of our home. Women who live in shelters have the opportunity to pursue their personal activities: work, studies, etc
Counsellors at La Traverse Shelter use the feminist approach to guide their daily interventions. This analysis comes from the fact that domestic violence is not an individual problem, but a social problem that is embedded in the power relations between men and women.
Feminist intervention is based on a set of guiding principles whose ultimate goal is to empower women individually and collectively. Even if they are defined according to women, let us remember that these same principles also apply when intervening with children. Here are the principles that unite shelters:
• that women regain power over their lives through solidarity between women, egalitarian relations and the defense of their rights;
• that women and children who are victims of domestic violence are not responsible for the violence suffered;
• that women have the right to autonomy, respect and freedom;
• that women have the potential and skills to lead their lives and make decisions that are in their best interests.
Reference: Guide to Feminist Intervention 2008, 48 pages Grouping of Shelters for Women Victims of Domestic Violence