Have you ever exhaustively searched for Interval House’s address and haven’t had any luck?
Don’t worry! You are not the only one looking for our address and not being able to find it. In fact we often hear from people who are trying to find our location, but can’t find it on Google, on the phone book, or in our website. No, we do not have a website glitch. We intend it that way; we keep our address confidential.
Keeping our address confidential is essential to our operations, to the safety of our staff and volunteers, and last but not least, to maintain our ability to provide safe shelter for women and their children.
When Interval House opened our doors as the first emergency shelter for women leaving abusive relationships, many people weren’t happy with our existence. Interval House received bomb threats and our operation was viewed negatively by the community and the media alike. People did not understand our purpose, and for example in 1973 under the headline “Home for Runaway Wives” a newspaper wrote about us.
While today public perception of women’s shelters has shifted, women still continue experiencing violence on an everyday basis, and many people still don’t understand that leaving an abusive partner is a very dangerous choice. When women leave, they are the highest risk of violence escalating from their abusive partner. This puts their lives at risk. Women need to go to a place where their abuser won’t find them. This is the main reason why we do not share our location publically, and maintain our address confidential.
Even though having a confidential address helps mitigate these risks, there is still a possibility that an abuser may locate a woman at Interval House. This is why we have many other security protocols set up on site to further protect women at the shelter. Interval House would never disclose the name of a resident, or allow visitors to freely circulate into our premises.
But, if it is that difficult to find Interval House, how do women find Interval House, you may ask? Well, women come to us by referral from other women services. They typically connect with us through the Central Family Intake or contact us on our crisis phone line at 416-924-1491. And sometimes we receive calls from hospitals or police officers asking if we have space for a woman they’re working with. To put it simply, women don’t come up to our shelter unannounced. When they move in, we’ve helped them arrange the safest way to leave, and we’re ready for them when they arrive.
So do not worry if you can’t easily find our address. That is probably a good thing.