Alison McAteer House

Family violence is the shame of the north, occuring at nine times the national average. Family violence is more than physical abuse; it can be emotional, sexual, financial, social or psychological. If you or someone you know lives with an initimate partner or family member who is abusing them, they are eligible to stay at Alison McAteer House.

Alison McAteer House is the only family violence shelter in Yellowknife. It is a secure and anonymous place for women to receive support while they are fleeing violence. Sservices are available to both single, adult women and to women with children. However, boys age 15 or more cannot stay at Alison McAteer House with their mothers.

Alison McAteer House services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our shelter has six bedrooms with a capacity of 12 beds. Our fully trained staff provides women with help to determine their options, empathy and emotional support, as well as hope for a better future. Women and children stay for four weeks, on average. While most of our clients are from the Yellowknife region, we also help women and children fleeing violence from throughout the Northwest Territories. If you live outside Yellowknife and you want to access the services of Alison McAteer House, please contact the shelter at the number below so that we can assess your situation.  After approval, contact your local health authority to make travel arrangements for you. We do not provide travel to Yellowknife. Please note that Alison McAteer House is not a shelter for homeless women.

Alison McAteer House has a toll free number and can provide support and safety planning for women regardless of where they live. If you are experiencing family violence, call for help: 873-8257 or toll free 1-866-223-7775 or email


YWCA Yellowknife is starting new research on an issue that plagues the north – sexual assault. The hope is that the research will help service providers better respond to women who have been sexually assaulted.

“There are about 60 sexual assaults in the NWT reported to the RCMP each year – and that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg,” says Lani Cooke, lead researcher for the project.

Cooke believes that service providers who work with sexual assault victims many not have a common understanding of what happens after an assault take place. They may not know where to send victims for help, where RCMP rape kits are stored, and who has the training to use them.

The first step is to document the experience of women who have been sexually assaulted. “We are looking for 20 women from five communities who want to talk confidentially about their experience,” Cooke says. “I am hoping for a snowball effect where a woman interviewed talks to a girlfriend who has also experienced sexual assault and encourages her to talk to us as well,” Cooke says.

She also wants to interview 20 services providers from the same communities - Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk and Yellowknife.

“All the recordings and transcripts from the interviews will be destroyed at the end of the project. Confidentiality is very important to us,” she says.

The third step in the research project is to collect information about the most promising practices among southern Canadian services providers.

All this data will inform the development of a pilot project where NWT service providers work together to improve responses to women who report sexual violence.  The pilot project is carefully evaluated and improvements are made based on information from women who use the service and thee service providers.

“There’s the potential to improve the response to women who experience sexual violence by better informing and co-ordinating service providers,” Cooke says.

If you have information you want to share with Lani, contact her at