25 Years of Making Home a Safe Place for Everyone
Royal LePage professionals understand that a house is only a home if the people who live there feel safe.
25 years ago, Royal LePagers unanimously agreed that helping women and children find safety from domestic abuse should be where they channeled their big hearts and charitable efforts. Since its founding on August 26, 1998, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has grown to become the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to this important cause.
In order to fund this life-saving and life-changing work, many Royal LePagers have made generous donations from their commissions each time they've helped a client buy or sell. They have also hosted and attended local fundraising events of all shapes and sizes, hiked hundreds of kilometers as part of the ‘Challenge for Shelter’ series, purchased thousands of ‘Shelter Blooms’ tulip bulbs, and donated and bid on countless Shelter Auction items - including our very famous Faux Fur Coat!
As fundraising revenues and personal donations have grown over the past two and half decades, so too has our collective understanding of the complexities of domestic violence. Following closely the work of experts, educators, and front-line shelter workers, we now know that:
- Intimate partner violence doesn’t always show up as bruises or physical injuries. Psychological, emotional and financial abuse can be just as harmful.
- While violence and abuse can happen to any woman, some are at much greater risk and have less access to helpful services, including Indigenous women, Black and racialized women, 2SLGBTQIA people, young women, women with disabilities, and women living in rural or remote communities.
- There are complex reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, as well as significant barriers and risks of seeking help.
- Children cannot be shielded from violence in their homes – even that which takes place behind closed doors – and the impacts to their mental and physical health and development can be devastating.
- A safe and secure bed in a shelter is only the first of many important steps for a woman fleeing abuse. Job training, financial literacy, affordable transitional housing, legal services, and therapy are all essential, longer-term supports that help women thrive after experiencing domestic violence.
In the face of rising rates of violence over the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing incidence of women killed each year by current or former partners, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supporters look ahead with determination. We know that, together, we have made a difference in the lives of so many women and children. We know that with continued investment in today’s youth, the tide can be turned for many of their future dating and intimate relationships. We can envision a world where our Shelter Foundation is no longer needed because women and children are safe in their homes. And so, as we mark 25 years of progress, we look with purpose at the work that remains.