Haven Society’s mission is to promote the integrity and safety of women, children, youth and families and the development of a respectful and healthy community. As a leading anti-violence organization operating from feminist principles, Haven Society will achieve this mission by providing a range of services, public education and advocacy.
At Haven Society, We Believe...
No one deserves to be abused.
Violence has no place in relationships or in society.
Relationship and societal violence arise from an imbalance and misuse of power and control.
Equality, mutual respect, self-esteem, and interdependence are values that foster healthy relationships and a healthy society.
Education and awareness are essential for prevention.
Women and children are diverse and have a right to have their differences respected and supported.
The community has a right and a responsibility to become involved.
To provide and maintain shelter for women of all ages, who have been physically, sexually and/or emotionally abused and for their children.
To provide a range of programs and services including information, counselling, crisis support and advocacy services for women, children, youth and families who are experiencing physical, sexual, and/or psychological violence in their lives.
To develop and provide innovative programs and services that reflect feminist principles.
To provide other related services to individuals affected by violence in accordance with a commitment to diversity.
To initiate violence prevention activities and promote public awareness of violence against women and children.
To cooperate with other social agencies in the community.
To raise funds for carrying out the services of the Society.
To promote changes in social policy and legislation to support the Mission.
December 22, 1978 The Vancouver Island Haven Society was incorporated as a non-profit and registered charity to answer growing awareness that violence and abuse within the family was a reality for many women and children in our community.
1978 – 1981 Women called Haven Society’s crisis line and were given shelter in the homes of community volunteers.
July 1, 1981 ‘Haven House’ officially opened in a house provided by the City of Nanaimo and with
operational funding from the Ministry of Social Services.
1985 – Haven Society purchased a four-bedroom house.
1991 Due to high demand, a seven-bedroom house was purchased through funding from CHMC’s
national ‘Project Haven’ initiative.
1992 A childcare centre and large family bedroom were added to the existing building through funds from Altrusa Club of Nanaimo and the Vancouver Foundation.
1993 Haven Society began offering counselling services for women experiencing physical and emotional violence in intimate relationships. Individual counselling and support groups for children who witness abuse in their homes was also added to Haven’s services with funding from the Ministry of Women’s Equality.
1994 The Haven Thrift Shop opened. It was sold in 1998 to ‘The Friends of Haven Thrift Store’ who continue to offer clothing and household items to clients of Haven.
2004 The Community Victim Services Program in Parksville was established.
2008-2009 Community Services Building was built and opened, housing all of Haven’s programs and administration.
2013 Haven's Parksville-Qualicum Haven House opened in collaboration with the Society for Organised Services (SOS).
2014 The Haven Society Boundary Project—a second stage housing initiative
funded by BC Housing and the City of Nanaimo—came to fruition.
2015 The Domestic Violence Unit was launched, a collaboration between many community services including Haven.
2016-17 Haven partnered with Nanaimo Family Life Association on the
development of SARP—Sexual Assault Response Program.
2016-17 Haven provided a leadership role to the Mid-Island Men’s Services
(MIMS), a new initiative to create a coordinated community response for men who
are abusive with their intimate partners.
2018 Haven Society recognizes 40 Years of Promoting Safety for Women, Children, Youth,
and Families of mid Vancouver Island.
2021 Haven Society receives a Purple Ribbon Award as "Outstanding Board of the Year" from domesticshelters.org., the largest online directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in Canada and the U.S.
As we look forward, some of our current goals include:
Sharing decades of knowledge and innovation through training workshops.
Building a new transition house and second stage housing.
Collaborating on community anti-violence initiatives for youth and families.