Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis: Creating Safe Spaces for Women and Children since 1977


Guelph-Wellington Women began in Crisis began in 1977 with eight women running a rape crisis hotline at the University of Guelph. They soon realized that there needed to be more support for women who were experiencing domestic violence. So, they developed a small shelter in the basement of an apartment building to house women who needed a safe and secure place to go. One of the first women they housed was Marianne Goulden, who later became a volunteer and staff member at Women in Crisis. The current shelter, Marianne’s Place, is named for her. As the need for more services and a bigger space grew, the organization became a sexual assault and domestic violence centre, developing services for women living in Wellington County.


Over the decades, Women in Crisis expanded to provide greater levels of support to more women. In 1987, they launched the first 'Take Back the Night' march, which is an international event that aims to spread awarenes of sexual, relationship, and domestic abuse. The centre also worked on the Safe City campaign to help the City of Guelph to take preventive action against gender-based violence. In 1993, Women in Crisis opened Marianne’s Park, named in honour of Goulden who was killed in act of domestic violence in January of 1992. During the late 1990s to early 2000s, Women in Crisis established support for queer and immigrant women and continued to make intersectional feminism a focus of the organization. Today, Women in Crisis remains intentional in creating space for all women from all identities and experiences.


Women in Crisis provides services for women who have experienced sexual assault, domestic/intimate partner violence, human/sex trafficking, stalking, gender and/or sexual discrimination, abuse, and/or harassment. The agency also offers support via a 24-Hour Crisis Line, multiple shelter spaces, public education, family court support, and specialized counselling. For over 40 years, Women in Crisis has been committed to serving the women and children of the Guelph-Wellington area by providing safe space and resources, free of charge. Women in Crisis is a strong advocate for women's and children's rights and continues to positively change and save live. 

Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis logo. Rainbow symbol for women with the words, "Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis" surrounding the symbol. White background.


Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis Logo representing Pride. 




Colour photo of Take Back the Night Marchin Guelph on the street in front of the Church of Our Lady Basilica. There is a large crowd that is carrying a banner that says "TAKE BACK THE NIGHT" with a large yellow moon in the top left.


Take Back the Night March, Guelph.  Image used with permission of Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis.  Picture shows a crowd carrying signs in front of The Church of Our Lady in downtown Guelph.