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Family & Relationships Domestic Partner Abuse

We Need to Do This

A History of the Women’s Shelter Movement in Alberta

by (author) Alexandra Zabjek

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Domestic Partner Abuse, Women's Studies, Women
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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In Canada, a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six days. Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country. Starting in the 1970s, Alberta women’s shelters have assisted women in crisis. Much more than a safe place to sleep, shelters work to prevent violence through education and training, connect people and communities, and support the complex needs of survivors through a multitude of services.

We Need to Do This is the story of Alberta women’s shelters. Based on dozens of in-depth interviews, it traces the evolution of a progressive social movement in a traditionally conservative province. These are the stories of women whose voices may otherwise never have been heard: entry-level workers at fledgling shelters battling the assumption that their facilities would create crime, small-town shelter directors forced to self-censor or lose community—and financial—support, Indigenous women fighting to serve their sisters in Indigenous spaces.

Beginning with the women who founded the first shelters, and continuing through the establishment of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters to the present day, We Need to Do This is a story of hope and survival for the women’s shelter movement and for the mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, and daughters it continues to serve.

About the author

p>Alexandra Zabjek has worked as a staff writer at the Edmonton Journal, as a producer for national radio programs, including CBC’s The Current, and co-produced and co-hosted The Broadcast, the first podcast in Canada focused on women in politics. Alexandra lives in Edmonton with her husband and son. We Need to Do This is her first book.

Alexandra Zabjek's profile page

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