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Space crunch forces domestic violence shelters to turn away women: Report

OTTAWA — A new report says women are crossing provincial borders to escape domestic violence — and many are being turned away from shelters that are full or overcrowded.

The third annual Shelter Voices survey from the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses suggests eight of 10 women's shelters in the country have taken in a woman from a neighbouring province in the last year.

The group found that in one day last year, shelters had to turn away almost three-quarters of women and children because there was no space.

Lise Martin, the group's executive director, says the findings reinforce the need for a national action plan on violence against women to ensure there are comparable levels of service across provinces and territories.

The federal budget promised $89.9 million over two years that would allow 3,000 spaces to be renovated or created.

If half the money went to new spaces, it would mean two new shelters for every province.

The number could be higher if provinces decide to provide matching funds, but the budget says the money will flow even without such a requirement.

The Canadian Press

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