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Intimate Partner Violence

There have been several news reports of women dying of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the past several months. The most prominent of which includes the death of Sania Khan, a 29-year-old Pakistani American photographer who was shot and killed by her ex-husband on July 18 in her Chicago home. Her ex, Raheel Ahmad, 36, then shot himself and died by suicide. 


Taken from the Times, ’In the months before being fatally shot by her estranged husband on Monday, Sania Khan was open on TikTok about the painful process of divorce as a 29-year-old Pakistani American woman. She spoke about pushback from her community and family members not just about her decision to leave her marriage, but also about sharing her experience so candidly.’ According to police reports shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, the pair were "going through a divorce", and Ahmad, who had gone to live in a different state while separated from Khan, had travelled some 700 miles back to their former home "to salvage the marriage". Allegedly, Sania did not want to reconcile and so he ended both of their lives. 


The headlines are not isolated and neither are these events. In fact, the statistics are even more harrowing. In Canada, it is expected that 1 in 4 women will experience Domestic Violence and/or Abuse, otherwise known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). In fact, 44% of women who had ever been in an intimate partner relationship or about 6.2 million women aged 15 and over reported experiencing some kind of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse in the context of an intimate relationship. Between 2014 and 2019 there were 497 victims of intimate partner homicide and 80% or 400 of the victims were women. 


What is Intimate Partner Violence? It  is actual or threatened psychological, physical, or sexual harm by a current or former partner or spouse. IPV can occur among any age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, SES status and does not require sexual intimacy. There are many different types of abuse and we know that abusers rarely exercise only one form of abuse on their loved ones. It is often the manipulation of several forms of abuse and behaviour that can go from loving and attentive to violent and abusive. Types of abuse include: physical, pyschological, emotional, sexual, financial and technology-facilitated. 

At WHEMS we believe that IPV is everyone’s responsibility. From physicians, lawyers, therapists, social workers, personal support workers, friends, family members and the larger community. We need to band together and use the expertise of all these professions and loved ones if we are to combat and prevent IPV. 

As such, for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence we are putting together a list of shelter resources and other information for women who wish to seek out this information. Our information is primarily tailored to Muslim Women living in Canada but we have also provided shelters that cater to all women. We decided to focus on Muslim Women because most Muslim Women come from regions around the world where IPV is still a taboo topic and women are still encouraged to stay in abusive relationships for the family optics. These women often have speficic cultural and religious needs that Muslim Women Specific Shelters can cater towards to provide cultural and religious sensitivity. There are many pages sharing information catering to all women (which we will also share) but we wanted to highlight some Muslim specific resources so that they are visible as well and Muslim Women know that they have choices that will cater to their unque needs. 

Internet Browsing Privacy
Staring at a Screen

Please be advised your internet browsing activity can be monitored by your abuser and that you must be intentional about clearing your tracks. For the average person, this is usually enough but for abusers experienced in IT or Software please know that it is impossible to clear your tracks completely. 


If you are afraid your internet activity might be monitored, then please call the options listed below over browsing their website if it is safe. If possible, please call or receive calls from a friend’s phone, a public phone, a work phone, or any telephone that your partner cannot access. It’s true that domestic violence and abuse situations can become more dangerous when you decide to leave, but shelter staff are here to help you and your family through it in the safest way possible. You have options; they are here to talk about them with you. The Alberta Council of Women Shelter’s has excellent tips for how to call for help safely. 


Also rest assured that these organisations are well-versed about being discreet and will maintain the highest level of privacy. This means (amongst other things) they will always ask if you are alone and only speak to you then. They have also been trained to understand clues if you are not alone even if you tell them that you are. They will only speak to you and will not disclose your information to someone else and they will come up with an excuse should someone else call them or join you while you are talking to them. 

Quick tips if you wish to keep your activity hidden while browsing these websites:

1. Use incognito mode or private browsing:


Click on this link for quick instructions on how to achieve incognito or private browsing on your specific browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox).

Remember the command shift on mac is this symbol ‘⌘’. It is found on either side of the space bar. 


2. If you do not use incognito mode then you should clear your cache, history and/or cookies. By clicking any of these links, it may show up on your browser history. This will take a few minutes, especially if it’s your first time, which is why we recommend incognito mode or private browsing.

For quick instructions on how to clear your cache, history and/or cookies on your specific browser whether it is mobile or desktop then please click here or visit BCSTH’s Tech Safety Toolkit which is an incredible resource for technology safety and privacy.

Clearing your web browser's cache, cookies, and history may remove data such as the following: Saved passwords, Address bar predictions, Shopping cart contents, etc.

You should record some of your saved information first before proceeding. If you are concerned that someone may be checking up on your Internet usage, the absence of all files and history may appear suspicious. Please try to be intentional about what you delete.


3. DO NOT save any of these addresses as a bookmark on your browser. Write the address down and hide it where you know your partner will not find it. You may want to write this address in such a way that your partner will not know what it is. You can also memorise the address.


4. If you think someone else could have installed spyware onto the device you’re using, you may not want to access any of these services. BCSTH’s Tech Safety Toolkit includes information on spyware


5. Most websites detailing Domestic Abuse and Violence have a ‘hide my page’ option to quickly redirect you away from their website, if you need to. Below we have detailed where each website opens after clicking the hide my page option. We have also left some suggestions of browsing ideas should someone ask you why you’re on such a website.


This is why incognito or private browsing is encouraged because no one can track where you were previously even if you switch abruptly. You can always feign surprise if asked about why you're on incognito mode and say you must’ve clicked something and not have realised. Please bear in mind that it’s not always obvious you’re browsing on incognito or private mode but it’s always good to have an excuse ready if you are caught.

6. If you are afraid your partner may interrupt your browsing the following websites, then find a time where they are not home or distracted. But always exercise caution and put your safety above anything else.

Shelter and Transitional Homes That Cater to Muslim Women Specifically but Are Also Open to All Women

If your situation is an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Nisa Homes

Nisa Homes is a transitional home with many locations across Canada. If you would like to access a Nisa Homes, please apply here or call them at  +1 888-456-8043. If you would like any time of support including emotional or possibly financial, someone to talk to, information or resources then please call Nisa Homes at +1 888-456-8043 or email them at

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Nisa homes is a transitional home. A transitional home is a safe residence for you and your children to go to if you are in an unsafe home environment, in an abusive relationship, homeless or at risk of homelessness or simply in need of a place of safety. Transition homes are usually regular houses, however the address is not available to the public to ensure the safety of the women and children staying there.


Transitional Homes are NOT emergency shelters and do not operate 24/7. You need to apply to go to the home by emailing, calling or filling out the form. Please contact 911 for immediate help. Please click here for a list of emergency shelters in your region. 


  • Your children ARE allowed as long as they follow the rules and responsibilities of the house.

  • The duration of stay is assessed on a case-by-case or needs basis but an average stay is about 1-3 months.

  • Accommodation at Nisa Homes is free, however if you are receiving a shelter allowance through Income Assistance, that amount must be paid to Nisa Homes.

If the Nisa Home you contact is full, staff will help you make other arrangements such as finding room for you (and your children) at another transition house or shelter.


If you DO NOT want to leave your house, you do not need to stay at Nisa Homes to get support, information and referrals to other services that you may want. If you just want support (emotional or otherwise), information or referrals or someone to talk to, even if there isn’t a Nisa Home near you, you can reach Nisa Homes at +1 888-456-8043. You can also apply for financial assistance with the National Zakat Foundation here. However, they ask you to ensure the safety of yourself and your children above all else.

Sakeenah Homes

Sakeenah Homes is an emergency and transitional shelter with many locations across Ontario. If you need to access a Sakeenah Home then please contact them by email at or by phone at 1-888-671-3446 or apply through their website here

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Sakeenah Homes provide immediate shelter through their transitional shelters and emergency motel/hotel placements. Their caseworkers work with their clients and residents to find long-term sustainable housing as well. All of their work is based on cultural and religious sensitivity. They understand every resident and client comes from a different background and a different walk of life and they are sensitive and cognizant of that whilst working with residents/clients and helping them plan for the future. 


The address of the shelter homes is not available to the public to ensure the safety of the women and children staying there.


They offer a variety of services:


  • Basic Necessities – shelter, food, toiletries and assistance with transportation.

  • Medical care and medication 

  • Mental health support to all residents and clients 

  • Assist residents/clients in receiving Islamic and secular education 

  • Resume building workshops, interview preparation, and help with finding employment 

  • Safety and Sustainability Planning

  • Assist with applications to government programs and subsidies, as well as referrals to external programs from different organisations

  • Financial assistance

  • Life skills

  • Reconciliation by trained professionals when it is safe and if a client/resident has not experienced Domestic Violence and Abuse and needs help with reconciliation with their spouse

  • Legal aid

Muslim Welfare Centre

 Muslim Welfare Home is an emergency shelter in Whitby, Ontario. If you need to access the Muslim Welfare Home then please go to 425 Dundas St E, Whitby. It is open 24/7. If you need any more information about the home, resources, any time of support including emotional or possible financial or someone to talk to then please call the home at 905-665-0424 or Toll-free at 1-866-666-1115.

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Located in Whitby, ON the Muslim Welfare Home for Needy Women and Children is a culturally-sensitive safe haven for women and children in need, with a primary focus on those who are homeless. This facility is an emergency shelter where residents can stay for a maximum of three months. An emergency shelter means that it is open 24/7 and you can go to the shelter at any time.


Accommodations are newly-renovated with modestly furnished bedrooms; available baby cribs; semi-private washrooms; as well as a spacious living room and comfortable TV lounge. A large dining room is serviced by a commercial kitchen where a chef prepares healthy, nutritious meals three times daily. Residents have access to a computer lab with internet connectivity and the entire facility is under 24-hour camera surveillance to protect the security and privacy of the residents and staff.


Services available:

  • Basic Necessities – shelter, food, toiletries and assistance with transportation.

  • Access to marriage and family counselling/guidance

  • Legal and Medical referrals

  • Resume building workshops

  • Job search support

  • Volunteer opportunities

  • Life skills training

  • Translation services for residents in English, Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Punjabi, Hindi and Spanish

Maryam Home

Maryam Home is a transitional home located in Mississauga. If you would like to access Maryam Home please contact them by phone at 905-997-8777 x241 or Toll Free at +1.844.997.8777 or email them at

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Maryam Home is a temporary shelter home for women experiencing abuse. Maryam Home is open to all women but primarily seeks to serve the needs of Muslim women who need a safe haven from Domestic Violence and Abuse.


Their home is located in Mississauga and provides women with a place of temporary residence along with a variety of services offered by their qualified caregivers and staff to help them return to living normal and dignified lives. 


These services include:

  • Basic Necessities – shelter, food, toiletries and assistance with transportation.

  • Halal meals

  • Mental health counselling 

  • Personal wellness

Shelter and Transitional Homes That Cater to All Women

If your situation is an emergency, please call 911 immediately. is an excellent tool to find emergency, transitional and second-stage* shelters near you across Canada. The website also contains information about the signs of abuse, provincial and territorial crisis lines, information about what to bring with you when you go to a shelter and about internet safety.

  • Has a “hide page” feature on this website on the top right corner that leads to the weather network


The Alberta Council of Women Shelters provides information about emergency, transitional and second-stage* shelters specific to Alberta. They also have information about how to identify abuse, about safety and planning particularly with respect to calling for help safely and hiding internet activity and positive affirmation videos that you are not alone!

  • Has a “quick exit” feature on this website on the top right corner that leads to google


The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan has a fantastic website with many resources, in multiple different languages, including: information about emergency and second-stage shelters*, counselling and support centres and programs for men who use violence all specific to Saskatchewan. 

  • Has a “quick exit” feature on this website on the top right corner that closes the tab 


BC housing compiles all the different transition houses and safe home lists in British Columbia.  The BC Society of Transition Houses offers information about VictimLinkBC (1-800-563-0808) which is a phone line to connect you to safe emergency shelter, counselling programs and other treatment and healing programs in British Columbia and the Yukon. VictimLinkBC provides service in many languages, including many North American Aboriginal languages. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing or experience difficulty with speech can use TELUS IP Relay by calling 711 to use this free and confidential service.


The BC Society of Transition Houses also offers advice on how to help a friend, how to identify domestic violence and safety planning


  • The BC Housing website does not have a “hide page” option

  • The BC Society of Transition Homes does have an “exit now” button on the top right corner that takes you to google


The Assaulted Women’s Helpline is a free, anonymous and confidential 24-hour telephone and TTY (Teletypewriters) 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 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They work in tandem with community partners and sister agencies towards bridging gaps in service and identifying emerging issues or trends relevant to the women they work with. This phone service is also available to deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing as well. 


If you are living with or have experienced violence or abuse, they can help you at 18669728376. 

This link leads you directly to identify with what type of abuse you are experiencing, reaffirms and validates your experience and lays out a step by step plan of what to do next, if you wish to do so.

  • On this page of the website ONLY there is a quick exit button on the bottom bar that will lead you to google news


They also have an online chat available Monday to Friday between 11am and 8pm. Your conversations with their counsellors are considered confidential and anonymous


*Second stage shelters provide affordable, one bedroom apartments for a period of 6 months for women and child(ren) who have experienced abuse in their lives, depending on their income. This time period may be extended up to 364 days. The program offers a safe environment with outreach and support staff available by appointment.  Women are encouraged to connect with the many community agencies and organisations that can assist with employment, educational upgrading, childcare, and securing long-term affordable housing.


Sources: The Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Sheltersafe, The BC Society of Transition Homes,  The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, The Alberta Council of Women Shelters, Maryam Homes, Sakeenah Homes, Muslim Welfare Home and Nisa Homes.

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