Creating Crisis Centres for Women

Violence Against Women: The Founding of Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and Interval House

The issue of violence against women began to emerge into the public arena in 1973 with the establishment of the first five women’s shelters across Canada.  In Toronto, women started discussions at Women’s Place – a centre for women’s organizing – when it became apparent that abused women had nowhere to go.  The women decided to establish Interval House and Darlene Lawson talks to Rise Up about its creation in Toronto..   At about the same time, 1974, women in Toronto and Vancouver realized that women who had been assaulted had nowhere to turn to for help.  Deb Parent, a long-time worker and volunteer at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre describes how this led to women establishing a 24-hour crisis line followed by a physical space where women could get help from counsellors face-to-face.  Both Darlene and Deb discuss how Interval House and the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre were at the vanguard of understanding the dimensions of intersectionality in the women’s movement.

with Deb Parent and Darlene Lawson
interviewed by Sue Colley

Thank you…

This project has been made possible in part by Library and Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program.