Since opening our doors in 1980, Discovery House has served thousands of women and children fleeing domestic violence, helping them rebuild their lives. This would not have been possible without the women who fought for second-stage shelter space in Calgary 40 years ago.
It was a radical idea at the time: creating long-term shelter space for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Calgary had an emergency women’s shelter by the late 1970s, but there was nowhere for those in need to go after the maximum three-week stay – nowhere that was just for women and children. Too often their only option was to return to their abusers.
“Domestic violence was much more secretive back then and there weren’t a lot of supports,” recalls Marie Cameron, one of Discovery House’s co-founders. “When a woman tried to escape, she was told to go back to her husband or to stay with family, and often her family would encourage her to go back to her abuser.”
We've come a long way since then, but there is still so much work to do before we can realize a community free of domestic violence.
And together, we can achieve it.
Just look at what we've accomplished in the last 40 years – moments all made possible by people like you!