Prevention and Education

Preventing Domestic Violence in Waterloo Region

We can not fulfill our mission without focusing on prevention and education.

* Each of Women’s Crisis Services prevention programs highlight a different type of prevention, but also fall into multiple categories.

Safe Neighbours: Public Education

This community group gives participants the opportunity to gain tools and knowledge to help someone you care about if you suspect they are experiencing domestic violence. Led by an experienced social worker, in Safe Neighbours you’ll learn about red flags and warning signs of domestic violence, how to be an active listener and what resources are available to people experiencing domestic violence.

Safe Neighbours is available by request to individuals and organizations in Waterloo Region.


She Is Your Neighbour

She Is Your Neighbour is a prevention project and storytelling series exploring the realities and complexities of domestic violence by sharing stories from people of all walks of life. Through our podcast and public education series, we highlight the intersectionality of domestic violence to increase awareness, build understanding, and shift public perception. The shame and stigma surrounding domestic violence can make it difficult to talk about, but this won’t change unless we have difficult conversations.

Youth Education Program

This program is designed to teach young people about healthy friendships, self-esteem and empathy to help eliminate violence in our community. Understanding healthy qualities in ourselves and in friendships will translate to healthy relationships in the future.

Taught by an Outreach Worker, youth will learn these skills through interactive workshops that use a mix of games, videos and open conversation.

Engaging Men Program

Through individual counselling for men and community education, we are prioritizing safer communities by increasing how we foster male accountability. This unique program has three male clinicians that are working directly with men who use violence against their partners and families to help to create healthier relationships. Unlike other male accountability programs, Engaging Men is not mandated, the program is free and every client enters the program voluntarily. 

Ask for Angela

The program revolves around discreetly approaching staff members at participating Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart stores and requesting “Angela” for support. This will signal to staff that the individual needs support. Staff members will guide the person to a secure and private location, allowing for open dialogue and a connection to the Women’s Crisis Services support lines.

Early Intervention Program

In collaboration with Waterloo Regional Police Services, the Early Intervention program works to stop violence from reocurring in relationships. This program works directly with couples that have had two domestic violence service calls in two months to connect them with support services, educate about the consequences of using violence and to help with safety planning.

Engaging Men Program

“My counsellor has allowed me to feel safe and not judged. I feel like he understands my need to rebuild my life with my wife and family. I think this program is very important to people like me as without it I don’t know where I would be but I feel my counsellor and the program is a life saver.” – Engaging Men Client

Early Intervention Program

“My worker has connected me with many resources that have made a huge difference and helped me on my journey, including, counselling, housing, legal background documentation to present to a family law lawyer, and has been a huge advocate when I needed support talking to victim witness. She is very easy to talk to, and makes you feel like you are in a very safe space discussing your situation/feelings with her. She makes you feel heard, empathizes for you and I can’t thank her enough for that. I couldn’t recommend her enough, to anyone in need of this program and am forever grateful towards her!” – Early Intervention Program Client

She Is Your Neighbour

“As a survivor of domestic violence, when I first learned about the She Is Your Neighbour initiative, I felt for the first time not alone in my experiences. Listening to the podcasts helped to break down the shame and stigma I have always carried as a survivor. I found the stories and reflections shared empowered me to have a voice and share my story. They inspired me to continue to be active in my community and to find ways to support others who are managing the traumatic impact of domestic violence to the human spirit.” – She Is Your Neighbour podcast guest

While staying in shelter is completely optional, below are some resources to help determine if this may be the right step for you.

If you decide to leave

Call our 24-hour crisis support line or access the online chat to speak with a support worker. From there, we will explore safe options for you, including a safety exit plan, if applicable.

If coming to Women’s Crisis Services, you and your child(ren) may stay for up to eight weeks*. While in shelter, you will have many programs and services available to you, some of those services include:

  • 24/7 support
  • Counselling
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Food and Nutrition Support
  • Addictions Support
  • Music Therapy Support

To read more about the in-shelter and outreach services, please click here.

*Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the difficulty some may face finding safe, affordable housing, these stays may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

If you decide to stay

If you decide to stay, but are in need of crisis support or information, you can call our 24-hour crisis support line or chat online with one of our support workers.

Our Residential and Outreach team can assist you in finding counselling, support, resources and information.

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