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A Brief “Herstory” – Updated April 2024

Women’s Resources celebrated 30 years of incorporation in January, 2019. We are so busy day to day, ensuring that the programs we are offering to women and their children are what they need to rebuild their lives, we often forget our humble beginnings.  The following briefly explains how we started and how much we have grown.

In 1983, the concept of Women’s Resources was first created as the “Family Violence Task Force.”  The committee, comprised of various community members, undertook to:  assess the seriousness of woman abuse in Victoria County; review and where possible improve existing services.

Over the years the committee evolved and eventually achieved incorporated status as a charitable, non-profit organization in 1989.  The New Board of Directors, comprised of 19 women in all, decided on the name Victoria County Women’s Resource Services (VCWRS). Our agency was created with an emergency shelter as the primary focus.

The mission of the organization was: “To provide support, counselling, advocacy, education and research services to meet the needs of women in Victoria County and surrounding area, including victims of family violence”.

All the work was done by volunteers. Public education and lobbying for funding were the key activities of the Board at that time. The first official fundraising event was held for the organization; a raffle at the Holly Tyme Gift Show raising $2,300.

The year ended with $7,728.00 in the bank. But it also ended on a sad note with the murder of 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. Our work has only just begun.

Plans for 1990 included becoming an associate member of OAITH (Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses); having a strategic planning meeting to confirm the philosophical direction of the organization; choosing a name for the shelter (now known as Victoria’s) and continuing to lobby the government for funding.

Since those early days ….

Our name changed to Women’s Resources of Kawartha Lakes, we are primarily funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and our mission statement changed to underscore the fact that violence against women is a community issue and also to reflect the sad reality that one organization alone cannot end violence against women.

Our Mission now:

“Working with the community to provide services and support for abused women and their children and to provide opportunities to end violence against women”

2906 women and 2,312 children have been residents of the shelter; We have responded to 40,936 crisis phone calls and provide outreach services to 21,170 women, children and teens.  Volunteer hours since 1992 total 280,139.

We have an emergency shelter, resource centre, a range of counselling programs, a collaborative hub model of service, and 45 staff.  In June our new Second Stage Housing Program in Lindsay will begin to have occupancy in the 6 units available. This renovation has been ongoing for the past 2 years and is very much needed.

We have come a long way and still so much work to be done! However, when we take a retrospective look at our accomplishments, there is no doubt that as a women led, women centred feminist organization, we can meet any challenges and opportunities that come our way. We do know we can’t do it alone, and community support at all levels is why we are successful. Thank you to our community for being a part of helping women and their children as they learn to live again!