The Shelter | Sanctuary | Status Campaign invites shelter workers, residents, managers, counsellors and anti-violence against women advocates and activists to attend an urgent community meeting on March 8th.

It has come to our attention that the Canada Border Services Agency invaded a shelter for women – on February 27, looking to track down Jane, a single mom and survivor of violence from Ghana.

“It’s so scary,” Jane says who wishes to keep her real name anonymous but is willing to speak to the media. “I thought the shelter was supposed to be a safe space for me and my baby. I’m scared not just for myself, but for non-status women in shelters everywhere who are facing the same fear,” she continued.

“We have heard of the CBSA waiting outside of shelters, looking to apprehend women without status, but I have never heard of officers actually walking into a shelter to look for women,” says Eileen Morrow, Coordinator of the Ontario Association for Interval and Transition Homes, the largest shelter association in Canada. “This is an unprecedented attack on women in our communities and we demand it end immediately!”

“The women in our shelters are survivors of violence. They are healing from trauma. The last thing we need is the bullies from CBSA barging in her to re-traumatize them,” says Bernadette Dondo, a counsellor at Nellie’s.

“The women’s movement fought long and hard for access to shelter and safety. This is a fundamental right for all women, regardless of immigration status. The CBSA violated this right and the women’s movement is going to hold them accountable,” asserts Fariah Chowdhury, an organizer with the Shelter | Sanctuary | Status Campaign.

Shelter workers, residents and anti-violence against women advocates will be joined by women from Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Sistering, METRAC –Metropolitan Action Committee Against Violence Against Women and Children and many other women’s organizations demand that Canada Borders Service Agency immediately stop visiting or waiting outside shelters or organizations that provide services to women; that women fleeing domestic abuse and violence be given status immediately and a full and inclusive regularization program be implemented.

For more info phone: 647.836.8781
or email

Organized by the Shelter|Sanctuary|Status Coalition, a growing movement of over 120 anti-Violence Against Women organizations that are working to create safe spaces for all women, regardless of immigration status –