- Audience: Settlement, social and health service providers
- Population of Interest: Women who are victims of domestic violence
- The Need: Domestic and family violence/abuse are serious public health issues in Canada and have continued to increase since the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What's Promising: Willow Place offers a multi-faceted model of service provider for women who are victims of domestic violence, including shelter services, outreach services, follow-up services, public education, and men’s services.
- Key Takeaway: Willow Place emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships as part of their services and programs.
Willow place is a 24-hour staffed charitable organization that provides inclusive, no-cost family violence prevention services to women who are victims of domestic violence irrespective of their culture and background. The heart of the work at Willow Place is healthy relationships. Willow Place is a registered Canadian charity, and a member of ShelterSafe Canada, Women's Shelter Canada, as well as the Family Violence Prevention Program's network of supportive services in Manitoba. Since family violence and abuse are serious public health issues in Canada, Willow Place services can fill the gap of Family Violence Prevention.
Programs and services
Willow Place is an inclusive organization that has supported many immigrants and refugees in the past years. Willow Place offers shelter services, outreach services, follow-up service, public education, and men’s services. These include the following components:
- Shelter services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. It provides protective housing with a private and confidential location, including safe transportation if needed
- 24-hour staff support and safety planning assistance
- Clients have access to daily trauma-informed counselling services provided by trained family violence counsellors
- All meals and snacks are provided by the shelter
- Clients also have access to family violence information and education
- Clients have protection order preparation support and support with Legal Aid, EIA as required
- Individual and group counselling as well as children's counselling
- Access to on-site school for grades K-8 Outreach services which include counselling services for men and women, advocacy and information on family violence services
- Follow up services are provided to our clients after departing the shelter. This includes in-person or/and phone services.
Willow Place also provides family violence prevention support lines:
204-615-0311 (Winnipeg Local)
204-792-5302 (Text line)
1-877-9777-0007 (Toll free in Manitoba)
Anyone with questions about services, or in need of support with family violence and abuse situations (women, men, youth) may contact support services 24-hours, every day of the year – no-cost and confidential. Individuals do not need to be seeking shelter to access the support line.
Impact of COVID-19 on service provision
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the rate of family violence generally. Before Covid, Willow Place was able to provide shelter for about 38 clients in a shared accommodation setting in which two women could share a room. Unfortunately, with the start of Covid and Willow Place adhering strictly to public health measures for the health and safety of our clients, we could only provide shelter for about 16 clients.
Willow Place continues to provide in person services for clients even during Covid. It was difficult to provide virtual services to clients who are fleeing abuse and in immediate need of supports. However, phone services are still on going for clients who only call for information and education about family violence.
To learn more, visit Willow Place’s website, here.