Advocacy & Policy

BEYOND SHELTER - Ensuring Women’s Safety and Preventing VAW

In 2001, YWCA Canada committed to put violence against women on the agenda. Work began with research into the social change and public policies needed to ensure women don’t fall into cycles of violence, homelessness and marginalization and then moved into informed advocacy for change and continuing action like the annual Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls.


Life Beyond Shelter: Toward Coordinated Public Policies for Women’s Safety and Violence Prevention (2009) identifies women’s poverty, homelessness and housing, the legal environment, life in the North and the exclusion of marginalized women as critical barriers hampering women from moving beyond violence.

Extensive policy recommendations include the crucial need for policy coordination across jurisdictions and levels of government.

Beyond Shelter Walls: No More Running in Circles Discussion Paper (2008) reports discussions across the country with women living in shelter and shelter workers to inform policy solutions.


The Living Beyond Shelter Project supported violence survivor advocates to press MPs for action and film advocacy videos on what’s needed to ensure women live safely beyond violence. Living Beyond Shelter: Videos for Change, their videos, transform harsh experience into powerful messages for action with bracing honesty. View, share and download their videos online at the YWCA Canada YouTube Channel. Purchase a DVD on the YWCA Canada Online Mall.

Survivor advocates have presented at Parliament Hill, Women’s Worlds and at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. YWCA Canada continues to work to ensure the safety of women and girls in Canada and for implementation of the policy recommendations of Life Beyond Shelter.


  • YWCA Canada’s Rose Campaign happens every year from November 25 to December 6.
  • The Rose Campaign National Action Day on Violence Against Women is the last Friday before December 6, when we meet with Members of Parliament in their constituency offices. To join the day, sign up for our Advocacy Alerts.
  • YWCA Canada supports the UN Say No to Violence Campaign