Bow Valley

YWCA Banff’s catchment area; the Bow Valley spans from Kananaskis Village to Lake Louise and includes the communities of Stoney Nakoda First Nations, Exshaw, Canmore and Banff.

Case Management

The coordination of services on behalf of an individual by a counsellor.


Voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. In Canada, the standard of consent goes beyond “No means no” to “Yes means yes.” Silence or passivity does not equal consent. Each person must want each specific sexual act the whole time it’s happening. If someone is pressured or intoxicated they cannot give consent.

Crisis Shelter

See Emergency Shelter

Dating Violence

Violence that occurs between people who are dating. This is often the term used when describing teenage relationships that are abusive.

Digital Abuse

Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. 

Domestic Abuse

See Domestic Violence.


Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviours used by one person to maintain power and control over another. Domestic violence can occur by an intimate partner (married, living together or dating), family member, roommate or co-worker (eg.staff accommodation). Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim (or perpetrator) of domestic violence. This can occur between people who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence includes behaviours that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It can include the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation.

Emergency Shelter

 A safe and supportive place for individuals and their children to stay on a temporary basis when they are fleeing a domestic violence situation. Shelter facilities often include coinciding services such as: safety planning, outreach, advocacy, children’s programming and community referrals.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse happens when a person uses words or actions to control, frighten or isolate someone or take away their self-respect.

Family Violence

Any form of abuse, mistreatment or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.

Financial Abuse

When an abusive partner extends their power and control into the area of finances.

Gender-based Violence

Violence perpetrated against someone based on their gender expression, gender identity, or perceived gender. It takes many forms, including physical, economic, sexual, psychological, and emotional.

Intimate Partner Violence

See Domestic Violence.

Physical Abuse

Any aggressive action such as pushing, pinching, squeezing, shaking, grabbing, biting, slapping, punching, kicking, or choking. It also includes throwing objects or using a weapon.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse most often refers to child sexual abuse. A child under 18 years of age is sexually abused if he/she is inappropriately exposed or subjected to sexual contact, activity or behaviour, including prostitution related activities. Sexual abuse may sometimes refer to sexual assault or harassment that occurs on an ongoing basis in the context of an intimate partner relationship.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another, or sexual activity without one person’s consent or voluntary agreement. This covers a broad spectrum of activities some examples would be unwanted kissing, butt slapping, sex consented to under pressure, and forced oral sex.

Sexual Harassment

Any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation. Sexual harassment can and does occur in many contexts like in workplaces, on the street, and in schools.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a broad term referring to the spectrum of sexual offences including sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment.

Supportive Counselling

In the context of the YWCA Banff, supportive counselling includes emotional support and information about violence, healthy relationships, and healing. This typically also involves information and referrals regarding various other support systems (medical, housing, therapeutic counselling, income support, legal, etc.). Supportive counselling is not to be confused with therapeutic or clinical counselling which is more intensive, goal directed, and practiced with a licensed therapist.


This occurs when a person threatens to cause harm to someone; threatens to destroy or damage a person’s property; threatens to harm an animal that belongs to the person being threatened.

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing offers individuals overcoming domestic violence with a safe, supportive housing option after they have left emergency shelter. Transitional housing is an option for individuals and their children who have fled domestic violence to regain their independence in a secure and stable unit. A stay in a transitional housing program will generally include intensive case management throughout to assist individuals with developing the skills necessary to live independently and free of violence after leaving the program. The maximum stay in a transitional house is normally between 12-24 months.