Good morning. My name is Geneviève Latour, and I am the Associate Director of Crossroads for Women inc.
Since 1981, Crossroads for Women has been helping women and their children who are affected by violence against women and intimate partner violence.
Crossroads for Women is the only transition house for victims of family violence and sexual assault in southeastern New Brunswick. We also provide the following bilingual programs and services: a family crisis centre, a sexual assault centre, a toll-free crisis line, more long-term housing, a community outreach program and a youth support program.
Our transition house provides much more than a safe place. We provide vital services and resources that enable women and their children experiencing violence to begin their healing, to rebuild their self-esteem and to take steps to return to a self-sufficient and independent life.
We also raise awareness and contribute to social change as part of broader efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
The transition house has three cribs and 41 beds, three of which are accessible to women and children with reduced mobility. As I just said, we provide much more than housing.
In 2017-2018, we responded to thousands of crisis calls. We provided support to more than 70 individuals who came to the hospital to get medical care in the wake of violence they suffered. We housed 250 women and 90 children.
The federal government really has a leadership role to play in addressing violence against women, and that of course includes the work of transition houses like ours.
I will begin by talking about the discrepancy between the number of beds needed and the number of beds available. It is difficult to gauge that discrepancy. In November 2016, our capacity went from 17 beds to 41 beds. In 2016, our rate of refusal was over 30% and, now, it is just under 20%. The reason there was a drop of only 10% while our capacity increased by 40% is that we are doing more to raise public awareness of this important issue affecting women. Each effort we make to raise awareness leads to more calls.