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  • JOIN THE TEAM: Board of Directors

    Are you a community-minded individual looking to become involved with an organization during an exciting time of expansion? Do you have expertise in finance, marketing, human resources, law, or human services? The Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) is recruiting individuals to join our Board of Directors. If you are interested in volunteering your expertise to help deliver on our Mission “to support and empower women and children to live free from domestic violence,” we would like to hear from you! The CAWES Board of Directors is a governance and policy-setting board. Our expectations are that you will: Commit to a three-year term (with the opportunity for a second three-year term) Be a community ambassador and promote our organization Attend and participate in approximately 6-9 board meetings and 6-9 committee meetings per year As a CAWES Board member, you will: Gain experience on a governance board Be part of exciting changes at CAWES as we expand our facilities and services Contribute to the safety of women and children in central Alberta who are fleeing domestic violence If you would like more information about the application process, please contact our Executive Director, Danica Hoffart at 403-346-5643, ext. 9 or via email at Download description here:

  • Celebrating Women In History This International Women's Day

    Prior to the 1970's, partner abuse remained a horror that was housed behind closed doors. It was not until women gathered in the late 1960s to share their stories that violence in the home became a public issue. This emergence of women's voices came to be known as the Modern Women's Movement. Erin Pizzey wrote the first book on domestic violence: Scream Quietly, or the Neighbors will Hear (1974). She is recognized as the founder of the movement against domestic violence, and in 1971 she started the first shelter for battered women, Chiswick Women's Refuge, in London. The Modern Women's Movement challenged the existing conditions of women and served as a catalyst for the Battered Women's Movement that emerged in the 1970s. In the following years, the battered women's movement dramatically changed society's response to domestic violence. In the early 1970s, there were no battered women's shelters in existence. Today, there are more than 1,500 shelters in North America serving women, children and men who are victims of domestic violence. "You may have to fight the battle more than once to win it." Margaret Thatcher Central Alberta In May of 1981, the Status of Women Action Committee met to discuss the problem of battered women and their children in our region. As a result of their deep concern and lobbying efforts, a grant was awarded by the Federal Government to conduct research and education. In 1983, after the application of numerous grants and the creation of a suitable framework, the Central Alberta Women's Emergency Shelter (CAWES) opened its doors with a budget of $200,000,16 beds and four staff. Forty years later our budget is more than $2 million, we employee over 30 staff members, and can offer room for more than 40 women and children. During the 2022-2023 fiscal year, CAWES averaged 96% occupancy for the year. While the shelter was able to accommodate 658 women and children, over 2000 were turned away, 1728 of whom were turned away due to capacity. Fast forward to 2024, we are tripling in size. Construction of our new shelter is currently underway and is expected to be complete in 2025. The new facility will be comprised of 50 emergency shelter beds and forty secure transitional housing units. This expansion in size and scope will provide hope and healing for women and children as they rebuild their lives free from domestic violence. Throughout the ages, women have taken a leading role in the fight against domestic violence. Their refusal to remain silent has led to a world wide movement in the support of changing attitudes and a violence free home. You have the chance to help women locally. To lead the way for more and more women to fulfill their potential as healthy, happy individuals… free from the shackles of abuse. Remember, celebrating women’s history and supporting women’s shelters are essential steps toward building a more equitable and compassionate society.

  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    The month of February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. 💜 There are many warning signs or "red flags" that dating violence is present, such as jealousy or controlling behaviors. This behavior can look like a person trying to dictate how their partner spends their own time. They may display jealous behavior if their partner is speaking with or spending time with other people. Another red flag that teen dating violence is present is if they are constantly monitoring their partner's social media. This behavior can look like a person monitoring how many "likes" their partner is getting. An abusive partner may get mad at their partner for who is reacting to or commenting on their partner's posts. They may monitor the type of posts and pictures their partners post and get mad if they dislike or don't agree with what is posted. Sudden moodiness or uncontrollable anger is another warning sign that teen dating violence is present. Does your partner get mad quickly, seemingly out of nowhere? Do they get really mad at small things? Any amount of physical violence is a sign that dating violence is present and may be escalating. Physical force, such as grabbing, pushing, shoving, and preventing someone from leaving (such as a room, a house, a car, etc.) can escalate into more dangerous forms of physical abuse, such as punching, hitting, strangulation, etc. NO means NO! Any form of unwanted sexual contact of any kind is a warning sign for teen dating violence. It is not ok for a partner to try and prevent their partner from using contraception. It is not ok for a partner to pressure their partner into sexual activity. Consent must be clear, ongoing and voluntary. For more information visit: If you would like to book a presentation from our organization, please visit: #teenviolenceawareness #teenviolenceawareness2024

  • Breaking Ground: Empowering Hope with Federal Funding for Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter

    In a significant stride towards supporting women and children escaping domestic violence, the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) has recently unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art facility. This momentous project has become a reality thanks to a substantial financial boost from the Government of Canada. The funding, announced June 2023, marks a turning point for CAWES, enabling the construction of a purpose-built facility that will cater to the needs of those seeking refuge and embarking on their healing journey. The Funding Breakdown: The federal investment, totaling just under $30 million, will facilitate the creation of a cutting-edge facility encompassing 50 emergency shelter beds and 40 secure transitional housing units. This financial support comes as part of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, a commitment made by the Federal Government in Budget 2021 to allocate $250 million towards constructing, repairing, and operating 560 shelter beds and transitional homes for women and children escaping domestic violence. CAWES, in its current state as a 40-bed emergency shelter, has been operating beyond capacity for years, accommodating only a fraction of the admission requests it receives. The expansion to a 50-bed emergency shelter and the addition of 40 transitional housing units represent a significant leap forward in CAWES's ability to provide safe housing and support to those in need. Local Support and Construction Timeline: Local partners, Stantec and Chandos Construction, are playing pivotal roles in providing design and construction support for this transformative project. Construction in Red Deer has already commenced, and the facility is expected to be completed by 2025, providing a beacon of hope for those seeking refuge from domestic violence. National Impact: The funding allocated to CAWES is part of the second phase of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, amounting to $82.4 million across 12 communities, including Red Deer. It aims to address the urgent need for safe spaces in various regions across Canada. Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, emphasizes the significance of these initiatives in fostering stable environments where women and children can rebuild their lives, heal, and gain independence. The Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter's ability to forge ahead with its ambitious project stands as a testament to the commitment of the Government of Canada to address domestic violence issues across the nation. As the new facility takes shape, it holds the promise of providing a safe haven for those in need, ultimately contributing to the realization of the National Housing Strategy's goals. To stay updated on the progress of the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, interested individuals can visit

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