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WIN Edmonton House: Protecting Racialized Women and Girls

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As lockdowns began in early March 2020, families found themselves stuck within closed quarters for much longer than expected. For some, this meant being in close contact with family members or spouses where arguments were familiar. In addition, as the pandemic continued, recent statistics confirmed that the number of domestic violence victims climbed 13.5% from 2019 to 2020. 

The stress of employment loss to financial issues staying in a toxic environment is unhealthy and directly correlates with domestic violence. Further, racialized people are increasingly vulnerable to domestic violence. Even though no group is immune to violence, racialized individuals face a variety of social, economic, and political marginalizations that affect their daily lives.


A Day in the Life

Imagine every day you experience some form of discrimination because of the body you were born with. Not only are these experiences overwhelming, but you experience them alone. Years go by, and as racism and sexism continue, you are increasingly told that such forms of discrimination barely exist. Arguments from “well, it’s 2022, can’t you just get over it?” to “you’re overreacting” continue, and you feel increasingly alone.

With this in mind, to what extent are the concerns and experiences of racialized women devalued and disregarded? Through police, governments, and industries, the experiences of racialized peoples vastly differ from that of white people. In this sense, the effects of the pandemic and the ongoing economic and political climate profoundly impact racialized womens’ ability to leave abusive relationships.

To add to the stress of leaving an abusive household or relationship, racialized women encounter doubt from themselves and those around them. It can be in the form of girlfriends confirming that you just need to “give him a chance” or your thoughts ensuring that you should just endure; racialized women are handed the majority of the responsibility. 


Seeking Validation 

In understanding that those closest to you may not have your best interests in mind, it is essential to seek out validation actively. This is an incredibly personal task that requires you to seek out the knowledge and perspective of someone outside of your social circle. This is important because those closest to you may also be under the impression that everything is well and fine. However, above all else, you know if everything is truly fine

In Edmonton, one of the best resources for racialized women is WIN House Edmonton. The organization serves as a resource hub and shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Not only does the organization support women and children fleeing violence, but they provide support and resources for women and children to plan.


Especially in manipulation and coercive control situations, having a well-organized plan is an incredibly profound strategy in successfully leaving an abusive relationship. Often, the unpredictability of an abuser is a deterrent for victims to seek help and flee.

Further, WIN House Edmonton provides online resources for victims to gradually organize and plan to flee. Strategies such as creating a private bank account, having an extra SIM card or phone, changing your home locks, and informing your child’s school or daycare provider can help make a clean break from an abusive partner.


You Are Never Alone

Ultimately, knowing that you are certainly never alone is a critical first step in seeking help and changing your situation. In acknowledging that racialized people are vulnerable and at-risk to domestic violence, WIN House Edmonton has a specific shelter dedicated to immigrant, refugee, and human trafficked women and children. In addition, calling the 24/7 helpline at 780-479-0058 is the first step in accessing services, resources, and support. 


If you are being abused, remember:

You are not to blame for being battered or mistreated.

You are not the cause of your partner’s abusive behaviour.

You deserve to be treated with respect.

You deserve a safe and happy life.

Your children deserve a safe and happy life.

You are not alone. People are waiting to help.


WIN House Edmonton Shelter Contact Numbers:

WIN House (780) 479-0058

Lurana Shelter (780) 424-5875

A Safe Place (780) 464-7233

W.E.A.C. (780) 423-5302


Monica Bassili writes a weekly column for


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