With such positive outcomes during the six months since DomesticShelters.org first launched, the organizers of the first-ever online and mobile searchable database of domestic violence programs in the U.S. announced the site now serves Canadians with the addition of 301 programs north of the border.
As was the case in the U.S. prior to domesticshelters.org, in Canada there is plenty of information about domestic violence. That’s not a problem. What is a challenge is helping people find the right help quickly and easily. Search results often reveal disparate shelter sites and services, help blogs, opportunistic ad-driven sites with outdated data, and paid placements by attorneys.
Search Tool for Canadian Abuse Victims
Through the search tool on domesticshelter.org visitors can enter their location, language and service preferences, and with a single mouse click, instantly see the most proximate, relevant opportunities for help. They can reduce or expand the radius of the search up to 200 miles, taking into account some of the vast swathes of land between programs in Canada.
Further, with 70 percent of Canadians living within 100 miles of the U.S. and Canada border, searches on domesticshelters.org will provide “borderless” results. So, for instance, a person living in Fort Francis, ON, would find that the closest program is in International Falls, MN, just across the border, as opposed to the nearest Canada-located domestic violence program more than 70 miles away.
Generally speaking, for each Canadian provider there will be contact information excepting confidential locations, plus languages spoken, populations and geographies served, hours of operation, and detail on 46 different types of services that may be offered.
Importantly, provider organizations will be able to self-administer their organization’s listing on the website, updating fundamental information as it evolves and adding custom content to enhance the comprehensiveness and attractiveness of their operation and offerings. If you work for a domestic violence program in Canada, to self-administer your listing:
1. Enter your postal code here. Then click "Search".
2. A list of programs will appear.
3. If you see your program listed, click "Claim."
4. If your program isn't listed, click "Add new location."
5. The rest will be self-explanatory.
This handy how-to video is useful to understanding the simple steps, too.
The website is optimized for smartphone and tablet use, recognizing that consumers are increasingly using their devices to conduct searches. Indeed, the number of local mobile searches is expected to exceed desktop searches by 2015, according to eMarketer.
The website also publishes and supplies helpful information about domestic violence, in addition to the program database. Programs also can gain access to the entire database behind the website in order to better coordinate inter-agency referrals and services.
About Theresa’s Fund
Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. Originally, and at a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grantmaking, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the DomesticShelters.org concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S./Canada. DomesticShelters.org is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.