Around the world, thousands of women and their allies work day and night to respond to, address and eliminate violence against women and girls. They create and staff independent women's shelters, refuges, safe homes, rape crisis programs, women's rights organizations, anti-violence centres and other projects that provide crucial services.

Women's shelter and rape crisis centre staff actively listen to and support women and children who are experiencing violence and abuse in your communities.  They know it can be hard for women and youth to seek and find help. They work tirelessly to increase safety and quality of life for women and children living with, fleeing, or healing from violence and abuse. 

Women's shelters and centres support the safety and security of women and their children, providing access to information and other services like counseling, advocacy, safety planning, legal support, economic planning, medical care, art therapy for children, transitional and temporary housing, transportation and more. As they provide such services, women's shelters and centres also working proactively in communities to create the social change necessary to eliminate this violence against women.

We know women's shelters and rape crisis centres help to save lives. We are grateful for the strength, persistence, actions and insights of those individuals who staff women's sheltering organizations. 

During the annual 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, please take a moment to:

  1. Thank the staff and volunteers of women's shelters, refuges and rape crisis centres for the crucial work they do.
  2. Ask a local women's shelter, rape crisis or women's centre: Do they need anything? Even small donations of food, money, toys, a bed, time, labour or expertise can make a big difference in the lives of individual women and their children experiencing violence and abuse.
  3. Learn more about the lifesaving work and vital roles of women's shelters worldwide. Read GNWS's annual snapshot of one day in the lives of women seeking refuge at various women’s shelters. See the Global Shelter Data Count report.
  4. Learn how many women's shelters there are in your region or country. Women and girls should be able to access safety and support quickly at nearby women's shelters and centres. 

Independent women's shelters and centres have expertise and leadership to help communities more effectively address and eliminate violence against women. Support your local women's shelters and rape crisis centres.