Safe Haven Campaign
YWCA Peterborough, Victoria & Haliburton was one of the first organizations in the country to recognize the enormous impact domestic violence was having on women and their children in the community. Building on our tradition and reputation for excellence in serving the changing needs of women and their families, our local YWCA refocused its mandate in 1983 to deliver women to safety and help them build better futures. The YWCA purchased two older homes in Peterborough and opened Crossroads Shelters, which have since provided emergency accommodation and professional support to more than 13,000 women and children in the region who had nowhere else to turn. For women escaping violence, Crossroads Shelter is the first and most effective defense against the harm and potential lethality of domestic abuse. For the women who arrive at these doors, this is the most critical turning point of their lives.
The YWCA focus is first on safety: protection for abused women and their children from imminent harm. Skilled YWCA staff operate a 24 hr crisis and support phone line, conduct risk assessments, provide information, answer questions, and when needed, arrange transportation to the shelter. Beyond crisis management, Crossroads Shelter staff also provide supportive counselling to shelter residents and to women who may still be living at home, but who seek to end a cycle of abuse. Women and their children are given practical, emotional and psychological support to assist them to transition from abusive relationships to healthier futures.
“I’ve got a great job and my kids are all doing really well. But even now, so many years later, I have nightmares. I wake up from the fear, from that horrible icy terror that makes my heart beat so fast I think it’s going to burst. And you know what? You know what calms me down? The memory of my counselor at Crossroads telling me I’d be all right—we’d all be all right—because we were finally in a safe place.”
- Former resident of YWCA Crossroads Shelter, now a successful business woman