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More than an awareness campaign

“In our first national awareness campaign, we needed to call attention to the fact that shelters and transition houses are “more than” shelter. The campaign’s centrepiece, the 60-second PSA, showcased a reality that all women share—the lengths we go to just to get home safely and that not all of those women are safe once they get there.” 

Lise Martin

Executive Director, Women’s Shelters Canada


Women's Shelters Canada



More than two in five women in Canada will face domestic violence in their lifetime but many women feel that a shelter isn’t for them. Not only are they held back from seeking support because of the sense of shame associated with acknowledging abuse, but also because of preconceived ideas of what shelters are and what they offer. Many people believe shelters are only for women suffering from physical abuse and that they are institutional environments for emergency housing only. This campaign sought to reach women living with domestic violence, and anyone who knows a woman who may be experiencing violence at home, and show that womens’ shelters offer a wide range of services remotely and don’t require in-person visits to access them.

More than just ads

More Than is the campaign platform developed to improve understanding of the support available through the women’s shelter system in Canada and to increase traffic and engagement at Sheltersafe.ca. OOH ads acted as more than just ads, directing women to Sheltersafe.ca to connect them to shelter services via QR codes. Social and digital media channels were used to dimensionalize the definition of domestic violence, showing how it can be more than physical, educating and breaking down a key barrier to shelter access.

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The impact

Total campaign impressions were


Visits to Sheltersafe.ca increased by


TikTok video views close to

3 million

Our message created a community of support with women sharing their experiences and stories on all of WSC’s social channels.


Women's Shelters Canada supports the 600+ shelters across the country, along with the provincial and territorial shelter associations. They create opportunities to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and share resources. They connect knowledgeable and dedicated individuals from coast to coast so that new ideas are born, best practices are promoted and transferred, and those who work in their challenging field feel more connected and more supported. All of this helps to ensure the women and children who turn to shelters and transition houses receive the most effective and compassionate support possible.