ABOUT PEACE RIVER REGIONAL WOMEN'S SHELTER
In the spring of 1984, a group of concerned people from the Peace River area of this province of Alberta met to discuss the problem of family violence.
As a follow up in Peace River, a small group of people began meeting as the Peace River Family Violence Committee. Their overall objective was to "address the issue of family violence in the Peace River area" with the establishment of a crisis line identified as a first priority.
In October 1985, the group became a registered society taking the name Peace Country Crisis Association (PCCA).
On February 16, 1987, the PCCA began operating a Safe Home Network. The name was later changed to the "Emergency Shelter Service" and provided temporary accommodation (up to 3 days) for women and children in an abusive situation. Emergency shelters were private homes that the residents agreed to open to battered women, or women and children. This alternative was better than that of a hotel, but due to feelings of intrusion, confidentiality, lack of comfortableness, etc., the women in crisis tended to opt for a hotel as a short term solution.
The PCCA, supported by the Northwest Regional Steering Committee, Odyssey House, Northern Alberta Development (Study on Family Violence) and communities at large continued, over the next 3 years, to work toward establishing a women's shelter for the Northwest Region.
Other services provided by the PCCA were that of:
Support Group for Battered Women - an active group involved in holding weekly support group meetings and assisting or supporting women in abusive situations whenever and however necessary. It was an important adjunct to our emergency shelter component.
Public Awareness - Presentations, workshops, briefs, monthly newspaper articles and public service radio advertisements were delivered on a regular basis to enhance public awareness on the issues of family violence. The PCCA grew extensively over the next 4 years. Seen as a Regional association, the services were extensively utilized and the demand was great. There were 3 salaried positions and the number of active volunteers within the association ranged from 40 -60 members.
Services Offered up to August 6, 1991:
Crisis Line - 8:00 p.m. till 2:00 a.m. everyday- approximately 70 - 90 per month- all types of crisis
Emergency Shelter - 24-hour service everyday- provides emergency transportation and accommodation up to 3 days only - Disadvantages: lack of privacy,lack of confidentiality, intrusion, very short term Support Services for Women - one-on-one support- group support- assist or accompany women as needed
Public Education - address issues of family violence- strengthening the family unit- public presentations- workshops- training sessions- resource library
Shelter Committee - working toward the establishment of a regional women's shelter The regional women's shelter officially opened on September 27, 1991 and continued to provide the above services from their new facility.
On May 6, 1996, the PCCA separated from the shelter and continued to provide crisis line and public education services from their office in Peace River.
As of May 6, 1996, the Peace River Regional Women's Shelter Society has operated the facility and continues to provide emergency shelter and support services for women; public education remains an on-going function.
Everyone has the right to live free of violence and abuse