THANS exists to eliminate violence against women in Nova Scotia by:
- Working collaboratively with other equality seeking organizations, and the three levels of government, to address barriers that prevent women, and their children from living free of Violence and Abuse;
- Advocating for sufficient programs, services and funding for Transition Houses in Nova Scotia;
- Increasing public awareness of Violence and Abuse in our society;
- Conducting and/or participating in Feminist Participatory Research; and
- Providing training and networking opportunities for Boards and Staff of our Member Organizations
Transition Houses grew out of an identified need of women for safety and support in spousal abuse situations. The first transition house in Nova Scotia opened in Halifax in 1978, and the provincial association was incorporated in 1989. The Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) member organizations provide transitional services to women (and their children) who are experiencing violence and abuse, including culturally relevant services to Mi’kmaw people. THANS eleven member organizations work with women and their children in thirteen locations across Nova Scotia; Sydney, Waycobah, Port Hawkesbury, Antigonish, New Glasgow, Amherst, Truro, Millbrook, Halifax, Bridgewater, Yarmouth, Digby and Kentville.
Our organizations “…provide a full range of support services to women and their children in a safe, supportive environment and… provide survivors of violence with opportunities to learn about available resources and alternatives to facilitate informed personal choices and decisions.”
Poverty, lack of safe supportive affordable housing, lack of childcare, literacy, education, transportation, and court support are frequent barriers that prevent our service users from moving forward in their lives. THANS works from a feminist-based perspective that seeks to work collaboratively with other community organizations and the three levels of government, as allies, in addressing these barriers and eliminating violence against women.
THANS’ focus is on men’s violence against women in relationships. This is not intended to ignore the problems of violence against people in male same-sex relationships, or of vulnerable males in heterosexual relationships. THANS uses the language of men as the perpetrators and women as victims because those are the facts in the overwhelming number of cases of interpersonal violence between intimates, and is the reality of the member organizations of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia.
THANS member organizations are guided by a Feminist Philosophy and believe that:
- Woman abuse and family violence exist in our province
- No woman or child should be abused physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or economically
- Every woman and child has the right to live free without fear
- A secure, non-judgmental and supportive environment will enable women to become active agents in their own lives
- Particular attention should be paid to the needs of children exposed to woman abuse and family violence
- Ongoing services should be available to women and children who are victims of woman abuse and family violence
- Efforts should be made to provide public education in our communities concerning the extent and ramifications of woman abuse and family violence
- Communication and cooperation between agencies concerned with women abuse and family violence should be encouraged at every opportunity
- THANS member organizations are accountable to those who access their services and to their community. Services should be extended to women and their children of every age, race, ethnic background, language, religion, marital status, socio-economic status, mental/physical ability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, national ancestry, and/or citizenship status who meets the THANS member organization intake criteria. THANS member organizations may be limited in providing a full range of services to women with mental and physical disabilities. Every attempt shall be made to provide appropriate services, within the reasonable capacity of the organization
- Women have the right to personal dignity, to freedom from fear and to freedom from physical and/or emotional coercion
- Women have the right to information, the right to moral and personal freedom and the right to exercise personal autonomy in making decisions, to make choices affecting her own life