Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Halton Women’s Place offers access to support services to help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives

Halton Women’s Place has drop-in centres around North Halton where women can meet counsellors confidentially to learn what their steps may be

For survivors of domestic violence, reaching out to a service like Halton Women’s Place can be a difficult step, fraught with concerns about disrupting their families and the stigma surrounding domestic abuse.

Carm Bozzo, Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement says, “Women may not want to go into a shelter, but they still need help finding an affordable place to live and access to other support services. We extend our reach beyond our shelters in Burlington and Milton by providing women in North Halton access to the resources and information they need.”

Drop-in centres

Halton Women’s Place has staff located in North Halton libraries every Friday where women can go discreetly to learn what their next steps may be or to ask questions. Bozzo says, “We can assure women that their confidentiality and privacy are protected. There is something to be said about a one-on-one meeting with a counsellor who understands and believes what the woman is saying. The woman can feel heard and validated.”

Halton Women’s Place want women to know that they are welcome to come and ask questions. If they’re concerned about a friend or family member, the counsellors can help. Women can ask questions about the support services and how to access them without going into the shelter. Bozzo says, “Counsellors can meet with women at the library, maybe they go out for coffee, and the counsellor will continue to work with the woman to ensure her needs are met.”

Various Support Services

Escaping domestic violence is a journey that requires multifaceted support and there are many services available in Halton Region.

  • Housing assistance: Securing safe and affordable housing is a critical first step for many women. While there currently is no transitional housing available in Halton, counsellors will guide women through the process of finding suitable housing where possible.
  • Parenting and child support: Domestic violence profoundly affects women and their children. Counsellors can refer clients to specialized services for children who have witnessed or experienced violence.
  • Mental health and addiction services: Halton Women’s Place counsellors can connect women with mental health and addiction services. Partnerships with local treatment and resource centres can help women who need to overcome substance abuse issues.

Navigating the legal system

Legal proceedings can be intimidating and confusing and having a knowledgeable ally can make the Family Court process much easier. Halton Women’s Place counsellors will be there to offer support throughout the legal journey.

They help women understand their rights and prepare for court appearances, which are crucial in helping a woman advocate for herself.

You are not alone

Carm Bozzo wants women to know that they are not alone, and they won’t be judged.

“Women will be heard, and we want to help them any way we can. If it means having a conversation with a counsellor at the library or calling the crisis hotline, our shelters in Milton and Burlington are open 24/7.” Whether women go to a drop-in centre, call the crisis line or access the chat line, it’s completely confidential.

Need for community support

Because Halton does not currently have transitional housing, Halton Women’s Place is appealing to political and community leaders to help fund transitional because the need is critical. There are two shelters in Halton with a total of 52 beds. Fifteen years ago, the average stay was 6 to 8 weeks. But because of a lack of affordable housing, the average shelter stay last year was 94 days. Bozzo says, “I would love to chat with anybody who would like to help. We need people to help us advocate for these women. We need community champions.” For more information on supporting Halton Women’s Place or to make a donation visit them online here.

Bozzo has met women at their community events who tell her they stayed at the shelter many years ago and it was the best decision they ever made. Bozzo says, “We have women who want to organize fundraising events for us and volunteer with us.”

Building trust and empowering women:

Halton Women’s Place counsellors are compassionate allies who listen, support, and empower women to make informed decisions about their lives. They help break down the barriers of isolation and fear. Bozzo says, “There is still stigma and shame around the issue, but I think it’s getting better because we are talking about domestic violence more than we were 20 years ago.” Carm Bozzo credits the high-profile court cases involving Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and the “Me Too” Movement in general for showing that abuse can happen to any woman.

By addressing the various needs of individuals experiencing abuse, from housing and parenting to mental health and legal support, Halton Women’s Place provides a network of care that empowers women to reclaim their lives. Bozzo says, “I’ve met women who’ve gone back to school and they and their children are now thriving. Those are the best stories, especially when you know that you are making a difference.”

If you need to seek the help of Halton Women’s Place call the 24-hour crisis lines at (905) 332-7892 or (905) 878-8555 or Chat Online.