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Since 1968, WIN House has worked tirelessly to support and empower women and children fleeing domestic abuse in the Edmonton area. We’re here when they need us most, providing a safe place to stay along with the resources they need to overcome domestic violence.

We look forward to a day when WIN House will no longer be needed in the community. But until then, it’s our responsibility to help the survivors and educate the public about what they can do to prevent and end domestic abuse.

Your generous support allows us to do this work. Because of you, we can make victims victorious.

As we mark our 50th anniversary, we want to share the powerful stories of women and children who have come to WIN House to escape fear, violence and shame and reclaimed their lives thanks to the help they received.

To protect the privacy and safety of survivors, names and identifying details have been changed and models have been used for print advertising.

Skye's story Skye's story

Connie’s Story

We were married nearly 20 years. During that time I endured emotional, verbal, psychological and financial abuse.

The psychological abuse took many forms. He was jealous and controlling and didn’t let me have friends. He’d hurt my dog because he knew I relied on her for comfort. He destroyed my property and even manipulated the medication I took daily.

I felt unsafe and unloved, and I had no confidence in myself.

I tried to leave a few times, but without a job or money to start over, I had to come back. During those times, he’d stalk me online and send texts threatening to kill me. Looking back on it now, I see he was doing everything he could to break my spirit. But he didn’t succeed.

I was in severe danger when I called WIN House. The person on the phone helped me make a plan to leave home safely while my husband was away. Later, I reported the abuse to the police, and they found that my husband had access to a gun, a hatchet and poison.

Calling WIN House saved my life. The staff welcomed me with open arms and gave me a safe place to stay. They helped me find an apartment and stock it with the essentials, and they connected me with a great counsellor and other services in the community.

I’ve learned how to set healthy boundaries and value myself. For the first time in years, I can live free from violence and fear.

Because of generous supporters like you, we can change and save lives.

Connie's story Connie's story

Marisol’s Story

We immigrated to Canada two years ago, shortly after getting married. Back home, poverty and gang warfare are serious problems. It was no place to raise a family.

I thought our lives would improve here, but my husband had trouble finding work and was angry all the time. When I got pregnant, the physical and verbal abuse got worse.

He blamed me for getting pregnant when he didn’t have a full-time job. It was a very dark time for me. I should’ve been happy, and instead I felt depressed and alone.

When my baby was born, I made a promise that I’d protect him from the violence. The night my husband punched me while I held our son, I knew we had to get out.

I went to a multicultural centre the next day and told a volunteer that I was afraid to go home. She helped me call WIN House. I arrived covered in bruises and with a large bump on my head. But my baby was safe. We were safe.

The staff at WIN House referred me to long-term second-stage housing, financial services and a food bank so we can have the essentials. I’m also enrolled in the WIN Outreach Program, and it’s helping me build a better life for my son and me.

WIN House gave us more than shelter and support. They gave us hope.

Because of generous supporters like you, we can change and save lives.

Marisol's story Marisol's story

Skye's Story

I was 17 when we moved in together. Even though he’d call me names and smack me around, I was always loyal to him. Living with my boyfriend seemed better than living at my mom’s house.

It wasn’t until a close friend of mine saw the bruises on my body and begged me to get help that I found out about WIN House. During a really bad fight, where my boyfriend slammed my head against a wall, I called the cops.

They showed up and arrested him. I called WIN House, and they helped me come up with a safety plan to get to the shelter without being followed or found by my boyfriend or his friends.

I didn’t know what to expect from WIN House, but it turned out to be the very best place for me. The staff and volunteers treated me with respect and care. They gave me the support I needed to leave my abuser and get help to overcome years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse.

Now I have an apartment of my own and a part-time job. I feel I’m on the right path.

Because of generous supporters like you, we can change and save lives.