Many women, victims of conjugal violence live in fear.  They are afraid for their lives and their children’s.  Others think they are going crazy and don’t feel self-confident.  Most of them think there is no place to hide or to be helped.  Many of them do not find a way out.

Some of them find their path to our Shelter.

We offer

  • A 24 hours per day, 7 days per week telephone listening service
  • A safe shelter
  • A place where they can feel listened to and mutual help where women are encouraged to regain control over their lives and find the joy to live again
  • Accompaniment services in legal, financial or other steps
  • An appropriate counseling specific to the needs of children exposed to conjugal violence
  • External counseling services (without shelter)
  • Support in the elaboration of safety plans
  • Post-shelter follow-ups
  • Support for relatives of victims of conjugal violence and professionals working with victims
  • Medium-term and partially subsidized apartments with common areas including individual and group follow-ups
  • Awareness workshops in the community
  • A prevention of violence process in elementary schools
  • On demand, specific trainings for enterprises and academic institutions

Declaration of Services

The West Island Women’s Shelter recognizes that women who use our services have rights and is committed to always respecting these rights:

  • the right to privacy and confidentiality
  • the right to equity, equality, and non-discrimination
  • the right to autonomy through respect for decision-making ability and power to do so
  • the right to have their needs and pace respected
  • the right to protection and security
  • the right to accessible, adequate, and quality services
  • the right to information on their rights.

In accordance with the rights recognized above, the Shelter commits to each woman who calls upon its services to:

  • welcome her with respect, discretion, politeness, empathy, and without judgment
  • consider her specific characteristics, needs and constraints, without distinction, exclusion or preference based on ethnic origin, culture, language, religious denomination or belief, age, mental, physical, and psychological state, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or political beliefs
  • be available and diligent to deal with her requests adequately and within a reasonable time (depending on her safety and the available resources)
  • to transmit, to the best of our knowledge, all information relevant to her situation so that she can give informed consent to the services offered
  • have confidence in her potential and her ability to identify her needs and to make her decisions
  • establish with her a relationship of trust and alliance, based on the principle of equality
  • respect her integrity, physical and psychological privacy
  • provide a welcoming and safe environment where she feels accompanied, guided, informed, and supported throughout her stay at the Shelter, Alternat’Elle, or when she uses the assistance from the External Services
  • ensure the application of the rules (Code of life/Guide to your stay) with equity, tact, respect, and fairness
  • recognize at all times her right to consult another member of staff, a member of a professional corporation, or any other person of her choice
  • refer her, if necessary, to other resources in the community or region
  • support and accompany her in the promotion and defence of her rights
  • facilitate access to the procedure for handling dissatisfaction and complaints
  • facilitate her participation in the associative and democratic life of the house. 



The beneficiaries will be informed that they should first address their dissatisfaction directly to the counsellor concerned. If the situation does not improve, the woman will be invited to contact the coordinator of the service offered.

However, if the situation persists, the woman can then write to the Executive Director: Mrs. Guylaine Simard:

The time for processing a complaint is 45 days. Subsequently, the victim will be informed of the outcome of his complaint.

As a last resort, if the situation persists, she may file a complaint with the Office of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner at the CIUSSS Center Sud de Montreal.