EDMONTON – A new report shows thousands of women and children are being turned away from Alberta shelters because of lack of space.
The annual report was conducted by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, which found 9,703 women and 9,548 children could not be accepted in shelters between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. During that same period 5,259 women and 4,946 children were accommodated.
The number of women turned away is up from last year when 8,427 couldn’t be served due to overcapacity.
Number of women not accommodated by Alberta shelters at ‘all-time high’
After securing funding, Edmonton women’s shelter will open its doors again
“I think the sad thing is it’s the tip of the iceberg because we know most women don’t reach out for help,” said Jan Reimer, executive director of the the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.
“It’s a huge, huge problem in Edmonton, in Alberta, indeed around the world.”
READ MORE: Alberta government announces additional funding for women’s shelters
Nearly all the women admitted to shelters were escaping abuse, and most were admitted to emergency shelters.
Mona Gill is a domestic abuse survivor. She says more resources are needed to help those who are fleeing violence.
“The mental stress that these women and children are under, and you finally get the courage to call, and then you’re turned away. What kind of a message are we sending?”
Alberta shelters received 50,047 crisis calls, which lasted an average of 14 minutes. Nearly half of the women who called were determined to be in extreme danger.
Annual Aggregated Shelter Data Report 2014-15