Gender-based violence takes many forms, including physical and sexual assault, coercive control, tech-facilitated violence and harassment. It can occur in your home, your workplace, online or anywhere else. Certain groups of women are especially vulnerable to and more strongly impacted by violence. This is because sexism interacts with many other forms of social and structural inequality that compound the incidence and impact of gender-based violence, including racism, colonialism, homophobia, classism, ageism, ableism and religious persecution, among others.
If you or someone you know is experiencing gender-based violence, help is available. Below is a list of just some of the services in the Thunder Bay community that provide support to those experiencing or who have experienced gender-based violence.
Emergency Numbers (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 1-866-863-0511
Talk4Healing Help Line: 1-855-554-4325
Nishnawbe-Aski Police Services 1-800-654-6277
Ontario Provincial Police 1-888-310-1122
Thunder Bay Police: 807-684-1200
Community Resources (Multi-Service)
1260 Golf Links Road, 3rd Floor, Thunder Bay, P7B 0A1
Anishnawbe Mushkiki delivers holistic traditional programs in a culturally appropriate manner, which reflect Indigenous culture, values and traditions. They promote individual responsibility for health and lifestyle, to have respect for others and for one’s own personal integrity and to apply and practice values of acceptance and empowerment while understanding human growth and development as it pertains to all of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Their wellness team arranges traditional healers and alternative health therapy services integrated with their primary healthcare clinic, coordinates a variety of cultural events and workshops, such as medicine picking, beading, men’s and women’s sweats, and craft classes and offers a variety of support groups.
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
24/7 assistance in 154 languages: 1-866-863-0511
Assaulted Women’s Helpline is a free, anonymous and confidential 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis telephone line to all women in the province of Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse. They provide crisis counselling, safety planning, emotional support, information and referrals accessible seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Beendigen Anishinabe Women’s Crisis Home & Family Healing Agency
# 103 100 Anemki Drive, Fort Williams First Nation, P7J 1J4
Talk4Healing Help Line: 1-855-554-4325
Beendigen provides shelter, telephone counselling and crisis support.
Family Court Support Program: Beenidigen operates the Family Court Support Worker Program, which provides help to make the family court system easier to understand, while offering support to women and children affected by violence or abuse through a Family Court Support Worker. Contact 807-700-7470 ext. 201 for more information.
Family Information Liaison Unit (FiLU)
Toll free: 1-844-888-8610
FiLU supports the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls by connecting them with Indigenous Elders, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Healers as well as mainstream trauma/counselling supports. It facilitates the gathering of case-specific information about police investigations, coroners’ reports, court proceedings, etc. and provides information to families.
Faye Peterson Transition House
Thunder Bay, P7B 6T7
Toll free: 1-800-465-6971
The Faye Peterson House is a supportive place where a woman can consider all her options and make decisions for herself. Faye Peterson Transition House offers: Safe and secure shelter for women and children who have left abusive situations; 24/7 crisis line and counsellors; confidential counselling; and information and referral. Staff can offer support, counselling and information in complete confidentiality over the phone.
Family Court Support Worker Program: Family Court Support Workers provide direct support to victims of domestic violence who are involved in the family court process. A Family Court Support Worker will: provide information about the family court process; help victims prepare for family court proceedings; refer victims to other specialized services and supports in the community; help with safety planning, such as getting to and from court safely; and accompany the victim to court proceedings, where appropriate.
Ontario Native Women’s Association
380 Ray Boulevard, Thunder Bay, P7B 4E6
Toll free: 1-800-667-0816
Liaison workers provide guidance through the criminal justice system culturally sensitive approach. The ONWA provides trauma-informed care for Indigenous women who wish to exit oppressive and violent situations, as well as culturally relevant services, guidance, support and advocacy for Indigenous women who have experienced violence and the families of missing and murdered women.
Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services
#10 317 East Victoria Avenue, Thunder Bay, P7C 1A4
Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services provides immediate victim-centred support in partnership with emergency services. Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services is available 24/7 for emotional and practical support. They also provide crisis response, supports, programs and services to help alleviate the trauma associated with victimization.
Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre
401 Cumberland St N, Thunder Bay, P7A 4P7
The Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre strengthens the lives of Indigenous people by providing holistic supports, services and advocacy. They run a monthly food bank, child wellness, family therapy and substance abuse programs.
Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
17 North Court Street, Thunder Bay, P7A 4T4
Toll free: 866-831-1144
TBMA provides translation and Interpretation services, as well as settlement, language and volunteer programs. They will provide referrals to community agencies where appropriate.
Language Interpreter Service Program: TBMA runs the Language Interpreter Service Program, which provides language services through interpreters and translators in confidentiality. The program provides access for non-English speakers to services relating to spousal / partner/ child/elder abuse, sexual assault and those exploited through human trafficking. Over 48 languages are available, including Ojibwa and Oji-Cree. Fees do apply, but can be waived in domestic violence cases. Email [email protected] for more information.
Victim Witness Assistance Program
Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay
385 Mooney Street, Thunder Bay, P7B 5L5
24/7 Crisis Line: 807-344-4502
Toll free: 1-866-311-5927
The Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay specializes in providing help, support, counselling and information for women and men 14-years of age and older who have experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment at any time in their lives. They can help women report to / interact with police and have an interview room on site developed for this purpose.
Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre through the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
980 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, P7B 6V4
The Centre provides health services and consultation for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, including sexual assault evidence (rape) kits, pregnancy prevention and follow-up nurses.
Catholic Family Development Centre
380 Dufferin St, Thunder Bay, P7B 1N6
The Catholic Family Development Centre provides confidential counselling services and group programs.
Partner Assault Response Program: A first step for men and women charged with domestic violence. Offers a 12 week group education and counselling program on domestic violence and non-abusive ways of resolving conflict. Also offers victims/partners of the offender support including safety planning, referrals to community resources and information on offender’s progress.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre
544 Winnipeg Avenue, Thunder Bay, P7B 3S7
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre provides counseling and support services for victims of crime through several programs. The Child Victim Witness Program provides support to children under the age of 18 who are called to testify in court as a result of being a victim or a witness to a crime. The program provides sensitive, informed and effective assistance to child victims and witnesses to reduce the trauma and communicating in court. The Violence Against Women Program provides counseling for women aged 16 and over who have been a victim of domestic violence and/or sexual violence. Counselling is also available for children who have witnessed the abuse of their mothers. The Support Services for Male Survivors Program provides counseling for men aged 16 and over who have experienced sexual abuse and assault.
Tomorrow Without Violence: a group for children and teens to learn about the impacts of domestic violence including physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. The group provides a safe space to discuss the violence, begin to heal from its effects, and learn that it is not okay and not their fault. The group also supports women in learning how to support their children’s healing. To find out more information or to register call Janna at (807) 683-4710.
Family / Child Development Services
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay
283 Lisgar St, Thunder Bay, P7B 6G6
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay provides a wide range of services related to child development needs, speech and language, parenting and mental health.
Supervised Child Access Program: The Supervised Child Access Program provides supervised visits and exchanges between children, their caregivers, and non-custodial parents in a safe, neutral environment. Any caregiver or parent can use the service through a professional or self-referral for a $24 fee. Program fees are usually shared between both parties and are on a sliding scale, or may be waived. For more information, or to make a referral for services, please call the Program Coordinator at 807-343-5031.
Referrals and Legal Aid
Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
86 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, P7B 2V3
Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic provides legal advice and assistance to residents of the District of Thunder Bay, particularly Indigenous people, who need assistance with poverty law issues. Their focus is helping people get income maintenance benefits and maintain access to housing. They are not able to assist in criminal or family law matters. Services are offered at no cost to people with low-incomes who meet the financial eligibility guidelines.
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre
#101 73 Cumberland St N, Thunder Bay, P7A 4L8
The NWOWC can make referrals and provide resources regarding gender-based violence and access to justice concerns, including family and criminal law, poverty/social assistance, health/reproductive rights, employment rights, sexual harassment, LGBTQ issues and discrimination and human rights. The NWOWC will listen to your concerns, provide information about the issues, agencies and systems involved and help you complete documentation and develop a strategy. They can provide access to a free legal advice through the Virtual Legal Clinic service.
Steps to Justice
An excellent website for step-by-step information about common legal problems that is reliable, practical and easy to understand.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program – North Region
#505 159 Cedar Street, Sudbury, P3E 6A5
Toll free: 1-888-579-2888
Victim/Witness Assistance Program services begin once police have laid charges and will continue until the court case is over. Services are provided to vulnerable victims and witnesses of violent crimes, such as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, homicide and hate crimes. The Victim/Witness Assistance Program can answer your questions about the criminal justice system, courtroom procedures and your role in court; help you prepare for your appearance in court; contact the Crown attorney or the police officer in charge of your case on your behalf; and offer ongoing emotional support throughout the court process.
Regional Women’s Shelters
Faye Peterson House and Beendigen provide shelter for women and children who require safe accommodations and are seeking refuge from abuse.
First Step Women’s Shelter
59 King Street, Sioux Lookout, P8T 1B8
First Step Women’s Shelter provides a safe and secure emergency shelter for physically, emotionally and/or sexually abused women and their children. The shelter strives to offer culturally appropriate services with a particular focus on Indigenous women and children. First Step Women’s Shelter is currently a fourteen bed facility which provides a safe and secure emergency shelter for physically, emotionally and/or sexually abused women and their children.
Geraldton Family Resource Centre
The Geraldton Family Resource Centre is a 10 bed women/children’s shelter. The Centre operates 24/7, 365 days and serves the areas of Fort Hope, Marten Falls, Aroland, Nakina, Geraldton, Longlac, Caramat, Ginoogaming and Reserve 58 as well as Jellicoe, Beardmore and any other clientele who need to access their service regardless of jurisdiction.
Hoshizaki House Dryden District Crisis Shelter
Dryden, P8N 3E3
Hoshizaki House Dryden District Crisis Shelter serves communities in and around Dryden, Ignace, and Vermillion Bay. Their 10 bed facility provides safe and secure emergency shelter for abused women and their children. Any woman who is a victim of violence/abuse can access their services and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Marathon, P0T 2E0
Marjorie House provides bilingual, short-term shelter services to the Northshore of Lake Superior communities, including; Marathon, Manitouwadge, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Pays Plat First Nation, Heron Bay First Nation, Pic Mobert First Nation, Rossport, Jackfish and Heron Bay North. They accept women from any geographical area.
New Starts for Women
Red Lake, P0V 2M0
Provides safe, secure shelter to women and their children who have experienced violence. New Starts for Women recognizes and respects the strength of each woman, and offer a supportive, non-judgmental setting where a woman can consider all her options to make informed decisions for herself.
Rainy River District Women’s Shelter of Hope
The Emergency Shelter is a safe and secure facility which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Shelter is a comfortable, clean, supportive environment that offers women and their children privacy and provides support. The Shelter is accessible to women and their children in the entire Rainy River District. Safe and immediate transportation can be arranged for women anywhere in the district, any time, day or night.
Women’s Shelter, Saakaate House
Kenora, P9N 3X1
Confidential 24-hour support and safety are offered by staff working from a feminist perspective in an environment in which women can make informed decisions. We are committed to changing societal conditions and attitudes which perpetuate violence and abuse against women. The Saakaate House offers emergency shelter, counseling services, referrals and support.