Reaching Women & Children in Rural Areas

YWCA Women’s Centre of Haliburton County & HERS

YWCA Peterborough Haliburton has been in Haliburton County since 1986, providing services for women who are in or fleeing abusive relationships. The services look very different in such a rural area. Our Transition Support Workers and Clinical Therapist are often out in the community and literally in every nook and cranny of the County assisting women in accessing basic needs. We go to where she is to help her find safety, manage her risks and navigate systems such as social services, housing and Family or Criminal Court. We will also provide transportation and emotional support while attending court and other appointments.

image of a mother, lovingly holding her son outside on a cold winter day

How is this different from services provided in urban centres?

  • Providing services in a rural area is much more labour and resource intensive.
  • Women who live in rural locations have no access to transportation so we go to them.
  • This transportation time is significant.
  • It can take up to 12 hours to transport a women to the closest Family Court and to support her through the court experience.
  • Women can be physically isolated, neighbours may be kilometers away, roads may not be maintained over the winter and they may not have working electricity or phones.
  • It is more common for rural households to have firearms.
  • It takes much longer for police to get to their homes even if they can call for help.
  • In rural areas lack of access to affordable housing, child care and financial supports make it very difficult for women to leave or to stay away once they are out of the house.
  • Confidentiality in a rural setting is extremely important to her ongoing safety.

YWCA Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace (HERS) provides a safe space for women and their children, if they are safe to remain in the County. HERS has two units of temporary housing to help women make that transition from an abusive situation to establishing their new home.

Learn more about YWCA Women’s Centre of Haliburton County

Learn more about Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace (HERS)