Bernadette McCann House, 14 Feb 2024 3:36:34 +0000en-us<![CDATA[Board of Directors ]]>, 14 Feb 2024 3:36:34 +0000Join our Board of Directors

We are presently looking for volunteers to join our Board of Directors’ team. We will begin interviews in the Spring of 2024, with successful candidates being recommended at the AGM on June 4, 2024.

The Mission of Bernadette McCann House is to work for change that will end abuse by providing safety, support and education to all those who experience abuse.

We are committed to a Board which is representative of the community we serve.

If you are committed to ending violence and can provide eight (8) hours per month to our organization, please call or email for information about our recruitment process.

613-732-7776 ext. 101 

Applications must be submitted by March 5, 2024.

Board of Directors

  • John Purdon- Chair of the Board
  • Gwen Bennett- Vice Chair of the Board
  • Imelda Duquette
  • Lynne Felhaber
  • Lisa Grison
  • Francesse Kopczewski
  • Iain Clark
  • Eileen Jones-Whyte
  • Amanda Foster
  • Julie McNamara
  • Brittany Mayne

Executive Committee

  • John Purdon - Chair of the Board
  • Eileen Jones-Whyte- Chair of the Governance Committee
  • Brittany Mayne -Chair of Resource Risk Management Committee
  • Leigh Sweeney (Ex-Officio, Executive Director)

Resource Risk Management Committee

  • Brittany Mayne - Chair of the Resource Risk Management Committee
  • Imelda Duquette
  • Amanda Foster
  • Lynne Felhaber
  • Lisa Grison
  • John Purdon (Ex-Officio, Chair of the Board of Directors)
  • Leigh Sweeney (Ex-Officio, Executive Director)

Governance Committee

  • Eileen Jones-Whyte - Chair of the Governance Committee
  • Gwen Bennett
  • Francesse Kopczewski
  • Iain Clark
  • Julie McNamara
  • John Purdon (Ex-Officio, Chair of the Board of Directors)
  • Leigh Sweeney (Ex-Officio, Executive Director)
<![CDATA[Upcoming Events]]>, 14 Feb 2024 3:16:20 +0000

<![CDATA[Elder Abuse]]>, 22 Nov 2023 8:02:44 +0000Abuse and neglect of older adults can often remain unseen: physical evidence of abuse can be mistaken for symptoms of other medical conditions. Elder abuse may not be reported as it can be viewed as a family problem and victims may be ashamed to report it.

Some of the signs of Elder Abuse include:

  • depression, fear, anxiety or passivity
  • unexplained injuries, dehydration, malnourishment
  • poor hygiene, sores
  • over-sedation
  • unexplained withdrawls from bank accounts
  • change in appearance (clothing in poor condition or inappropriate dress for the season)

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) offers the following handbook to help you identify Elder Abuse and seek help. Please click on the image below:

<![CDATA[Technology Abuse]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:56:00 +0000Communication avenues, such as text messaging, chat rooms, and social networking websites (e.g., Instagram and Facebook), have allowed people to easily develop relationships, some with people they have never met in person. They allow people to communicate with family and friends on a regular basis. However, the explosion of communication tools does not come without possible risks. Abusive people can use electronic media to embarrass, harass, stalk or threaten someone.

True or False?

Distributing embarrassing pictures of someone by posting them in a public area (ie. on a website) or sending them via e-mail is an example of electronic aggression.

True - Electronic Aggression is any type of harassment or bullying that occurs through e-mail, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging.

My location can be tracked if I turn my phone off and remove the battery.


When we are on the move, our mobile phone is constantly seeking out a tower signal in case you need to make a call, which means that even the most basic mobile phone can be used as a tracking device.


Spyware is software that can only be installed with your permission.

False - Spyware is software that is installed without your knowledge, and can be used to spy on your movements and communications.

GPS information can be recorded in other data you produce with your phone, like in pictures, or in social networking updates.

True - Geotagging is when a device such as an iPhone, Android smartphone or digital camera stores your location or geographical information, such as your GPS coordinates, within a photo or movie file (such as .jpg or .mov files).

Because cordless phones transmit your conversation wirelessly between the base unit and phones, they can more easily be intercepted by scanners, baby monitors, and other cordless phones.


Technology can be used to stalk and monitor a person’s activities and behaviors either in present time or historically.

True - By simply having your phone switched on, sending a text message, or making a phone call, you reveal a information about where you are. Even if you have picked up a pre-paid or pay-as-you-go SIM card, your phone and that SIM card number are being tracked by the cell phone company to provide service.

Data may also be recorded in your phone’s registry information. If your phone was purchased as part of a plan, the owner of the plan may have access to information such as call history and when text messages were sent. The legal owner of the phone is also able to register it with a mobile tracking company that allows the phone to be easily tracked if lost. Such a service enables an abusive partner to check up on their partner’s movements using the geographic location signals the phone gives out. It could show them exactly where their partner is on a Google map. Newer phones feature global positioning systems that take advantage of the mobile phone infrastructure and further pinpoint location.

To download a Bernadette McCann House Technology Guide, click here.

<![CDATA[How to Help]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:32:00 +0000It can be upsetting and uncomfortable to suspect that someone you know is being abused.  You can help.

A person who is being abused needs to hear:

  • I believe you
  • It's NOT your fault
  • I'm sorry this happened to you
  • I'm glad you told me
  • I can help

Offer practical help:

  • a ride, help moving or childcare.

Call us:

You can call us to get more information about our services on a friend's behalf.  You can also support a friend in calling to access our services.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Do not judge.  Allow them to make their own choices at their own pace.

<![CDATA[How to Recognize Abuse]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:23:48 +0000

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you could be in an
abusive relationship, or your relationship could become abusive.

  • Do you feel nervous around him/her?
  • Do you have to be careful to control your behaviour to avoid his/her anger?
  • Do you feel pressured by him/her when it comes to sex?
  • Are you scared of disagreeing with him/her?
  • Does he/she criticize you, or humiliate you in front of other people?
  • Is he/she always checking up or questioning you about what you do without him/her?
  • Does he/she repeatedly and wrongly accuse you of seeing other people?
  • Does he/she tell you that if you changed, he/she wouldn't abuse you?
  • Does his/her jealousy stop you from seeing friends or family?
  • Does he/she make you feel like you are wrong, stupid, crazy, or inadequate?
  • Has he/she ever scared you with violence or threatening behaviour?
  • Do you often do things to please him/her, rather than to please yourself?
  • Does he/she prevent you from going out or doing things you want to do?
  • Do you feel that, with him/her, nothing you do is ever good enough?
  • Does he/she say that they will kill or hurt themselves if you break up with them?
  • Does he/she make excuses for their abusive behaviour by saying it's
    because of alcohol or drugs, or because they can't control their temper,
    or that they were "just joking"?


  • There are approximately 40,000 arrests for domestic violence in Canada per year (Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics, 2009)
  • On average, every 6 days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner (Canadian Women's Foundation, Statistics Canada, 2009)
  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16 (Statistics Canada, 2009)
<![CDATA[What is Abuse]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:19:47 +0000
  • Abuse is intentional.
  • Violence is used as a way to gain control over someone else.
  • Abuse can happen to anyone.
  • Abuse can happen in any relationship, between people from all walks of life.
  • Abuse is not the fault of the abused.
  • It is never a sign of weakness to ask for help.
  • ]]>
    <![CDATA[News and Careers]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:14:35 +0000Upcoming Events

    Visit our Upcoming Events page for details on Bernadette McCann House events coming up in the near future including our annual Vigil on December 6th, International Women's Day Celebrations, our Annual General Meeting, and other special celebrations.

    BMH Newsletters

    Every year, BMH produces a newsletter which provides our membership, clients and the community with updates regarding our services and programs.  Visit our Our Newsletter page to view online versions of the most recent newsletters.

    If you would like to have some newsletters on display at your place of business, please contact us at  We would be happy to provide some for your to display.


    Are you interested in becoming a staff member at BMH?  Check our Careers page on a regular basis for job opportunities.

    <![CDATA[Volunteer]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:13:26 +0000Volunteering is about:
    • sharing your skills
    • providing hands on help (gardening, childcare or driving clients)
    • public education (joining our Public Awareness Team)

    Volunteers are:

    • committed to confidentiality
    • patient and non-judgemental
    • 18 years of age or older
    • successful in our screening and training process

    In return, we provide Volunteers the opportunity to:

    • learn about abuse
    • share and learn new skills

    Please be advised that due to Covid-19, we are not recruiting any volunteers at this time.

    <![CDATA[Public Education]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:10:15 +0000Presentations and workshops are offered free of charge.
    The information presented is tailored to meet the needs of the audience.

    Topics include:

    • Healthy Relationships
    • Services provided by Bernadette McCann House
    • Identifying Abuse

    To book a presentation at your workplace, school, church, or any other group setting,
    contact the Volunteer / Public Education Coordinator at 613-732-7776.

    <![CDATA[Groups]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:07:09 +0000Groups and Workshops are facilitated upon request. Please call us to inquire about a Group or Workshop or to have your name added to a wait list.


    Pattern Changing

    12 week educational group designed to assist women who have experienced abuse in an intimate relationship. This program focuses on the woman herself and her ability to change the course of her life. Topics include: the impact of abuse, family roles, boundary setting, feelings, assertiveness techniques, coping strategies, goal setting, healthy relationships, and changed patterns.

    Setting Patterns

    10 week group that builds on the knowledge women obtained from the Pattern Changing group.  The topics of communication skills, feelings related to anger, developing new relationships and goal setting are discussed in a more in-depth context.  Attitude of gratitude, co-dependency, shame and guilt, social skills and building resiliency skills are new topics introduced in this group.  Participants are expected to complete weekly assignments that relate to each topic.

    Growing Together

    11 week group for mothers and children designed to break the isolation of abuse and promote the healing process. Children learn ways to cope with their feelings and behaviours that arise in families that have experienced abuse. Each week begins with the sharing of a light meal, followed by individual sessions for mothers and children. Topics include: self-esteem, expressing of anger/feelings, choices, safety planning, family changes, conflict resolution, understanding abuse, and the impact of abuse for the family.

    Caring Dads

    17 week group for men, which offers a combination of active group discussions, exercises and homework. Through the group sessions, Fathers will gain a better understanding of the following:

    • Skills to cope with frustrating situations in healthy ways
    • Different Fathering strategies and choices which affect children
    • Increased awareness of controlling, abusive and neglectful attitudes and behaviours
    • Strategies to strengthen the Father-Child relationship


    Self Esteem & the Power of Positive Habits

    This workshop focuses on defining Self Esteem, understanding the values and worth that a woman places on herself, the myths that affect one's self image, and the characteristics of positive self-esteem. Women are provided with concrete steps to increase their self-esteem. This workshop also explores the benefits of having good self-esteem, such as developing decision making skills, obtaining more opportunities for personal growth, and healthy relationships.

    Abuse & Anger

    This workshop differentiates between abusive behaviours and expressing anger as a normal secondary emotion. The purpose of the workshop is to recognize that violence against women is not about losing control of one's emotions but rather the abuser's intent to induce fear, in order "to control" his/her partner. It demonstrates the need for women to understand anger, not eliminate anger. It acknowledges that anger can motivate change and be a positive force in the life of a woman who has been abused. The workshop explores what triggers anger, the suppression of anger and ways to effectively respond to anger and the emotions that cause it.

    Healing from Shame & Guilt

    This workshop differentiates between guilt and shame. It clarifies that guilt is about feeling you made a mistake and shame is about feeling you are a mistake. This workshop elaborates on the effects and the symptoms of guilt and shame. It discusses how studies indicate that women have stronger feelings of guilt than men and feel guilty for different reasons than men. It explores the twelve categories of shame for women while increasing their understanding of shame. The focus of the workshop is for women to develop tips to handle guilt and learn methods to heal from shame.

    Healthy Relationships & Setting Boundaries

    This workshop explores the differences between healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships and abusive relationships. This workshop demonstrates that healthy relationships are based on equality, trust, honesty, respect and open communication. The workshop also focuses on the importance of setting boundaries and using assertive communication to maintain healthy relationships.

    Budgeting: Dollars & Sense

    This workshop defines financial abuse, financial stress and their effects. This workshop demonstrates practical ways to build a budget that can work, exploring some "do's" and "don't's" and how to establish or repair a credit. Included in this workshop are the contents to make a budgeting tool kit.

    <![CDATA[Services for Men]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:05:21 +0000Bernadette McCann House offers the following services to men:

    • Support / Crisis Line: available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 613-732-3131 and at 1-800-267-4930
    • Support to men experiencing domestic violence who are involved in the family court process
    • Caring Dads group:  fathers can and want to be a positive influence in the lives of their children.  To learn more about the Caring Dads group, please call:
      • Bobby Keefe, Family and Children’s Services, 613-735-6866 ext. 3038.
      • Bernadette McCann House, 613-732-7776.
    <![CDATA[Family Court Support]]>, 22 Nov 2023 7:01:21 +0000The Family Court Support Worker Program provides direct service to male and female victims of domestic violence who are involved in the family court process.  The program strives to enhance victim safety, increase access to services and supports, help organizations support victims and, overall, facilitate the victim's understanding of the family court system.

    Meeting with the Family Court Support Worker will provide you with the following:

    • a risk/needs assessment
    • a safety plan
    • information about the family court process
    • assistance to record the history of abuse
    • assistance with the legal aid process
    • support in responding to/following through on requests from lawyers
    • referrals to specialized community services
    • communication & liaison with criminal court-based services
    • communication & liaison with family court-based services
    • court accompaniment
    • de-briefing following court appearances, lawyer appointments, FLIC or duty counsel meetings

    <![CDATA[Children & Youth]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:57:08 +0000Children & Youth Caseworkers provide education and support to children & youth who have witnessed and/or experienced abuse.

    Topics discussed include:

    • abuse/types of violence
    • safety planning
    • self esteem
    • feelings
    • anger
    • healthy friendships/relationships
    • choices/boundaries
    • family change (separation/divorce)
    • problem solving
    • assertiveness skills
    • court preparation/support (if needed)

    Children/Youth who witness abuse may believe...

    • Violence is an effective way to solve problems
    • They are responsible for the abuse witnessed at home
    • It is OK to hurt someone if you are feeling angry or upset
    • Inequality in relationships is normal - men have power and control over women
    • There are few, if any negative consequences for abusive acts
    • They are responsible for stopping the abuse by "protecting" or "confronting" the abuser

    Both girls and boys of all ages are affected by witnessing abuse.

    School Professionals

    Groups such as Healthy Relationships can be offered to both children & youth upon request.  Presentations may also be scheduled to meet the school's needs:  abuse, effective communication and more.  Contact us to book today.


    <![CDATA[Transitional Support]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:54:12 +0000Transitional Support Services include the following:

    • safety planning
    • risk assessment
    • obtaining identification
    • accompaniment to appointments such as ODSP or Ontario Housing
    • applying for Ontario Housing or looking at market rent
    • accessing grants or resources in place to assist women who are fleeing abuse
    • priority letters for Ontario Housing (if applicable)

    The Eastern Ottawa Resource Center Transitional Support Worker (TSW) provides transitional and housing supports and services for Francophone Women and their children who have experienced abuse, to help them connect with community supports and find and maintain housing. The Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre Francophone TSW will be available to meet with Francophone Women, on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  She may be reached by calling 613 585-3414 or text message.

    <![CDATA[Community Outreach]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:46:49 +0000Outreach Caseworkers meet with women, at various locations throughout Renfrew County, to provide support & education about abuse, safety planning and referrals to other services.  Women are welcome to meet with a Caseworker for a Risk Assessment and to assess their situation.

    Caseworkers provide free, confidential & non-judgemental support to women who:

    • are over the age of 16
    • reside in Renfrew County

    Women can meet with a Caseworker one on one or they may choose group support.

    Parent/Guardians may also choose to have their child (ren) or youth seen by a Child & Youth Caseworker for support and education.

    Interpreter services can be arranged.

    <![CDATA[Support / Crisis Line]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:42:38 +0000We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 613-732-3131 and at 1-800-267-4930
    • a trained caseworker will listen, offer support, safety plan and refer you to other services
    • information and education will be provided
    • ALL calls are CONFIDENTIAL
    • we do not subscribe to call display
    • we are here to help

      You can also reach out for support by text message, our texting support line is 613-639-1233.
      Although messages are monitored regularly, response time may vary.

    <![CDATA[Residential Shelter]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:36:47 +0000Bernadette McCann House offers a 16 bed emergency short-term shelter for women and children who are leaving an abusive relationship.  Women 16 years of age and older can access this service.  Women under 16 years of age are invited to call our Crisis Line at 613-732-3131 for support and referrals.

    What will I experience at the shelter?

    • Short term (free) emergency accommodations (length of time varies for each resident)
    • We will assist you with a concrete SAFETY PLAN
    • We will meet with you privately so you can share your situation
    • We will provide you with education on abuse, referrals, resources and guidance in helping you make informed choices
    • you can participate in one on one meetings and in groups

    And my children?

    • The Children's Caseworker will provide emotional and educational support to Mom and their children residing in the shelter
    • Childcare is provided for Mom to attend appointments
    • The Children's Caseworker will help your child to understand why they are at the shelter
    • Assistance will be provided with school registration, referrals, resources, safety planning etc.
    <![CDATA[Services]]>, 22 Nov 2023 6:15:44 +0000We offer:
    • a safe space (confidential, secure & inclusive)
    • support (one on one or in groups)
    • education (individual or group)
    • accessible, free services
    • all services respect one's right to make their own choices

    Click under Services, at right, for more information

    <![CDATA[Get Involved]]>, 07 Nov 2023 4:12:28 +0000Become a volunteer!

    Drivers, board members, childcare providers & more:  volunteers have the opportunity to donate their time & skills, to learn about abuse & support a worthwhile cause.


    Become a Member

    Those fleeing an abusive relationship require emotional as well as concrete support:  an endless amount of supplies are donated.  Check out our Wish List to find out how you can make a difference.

    Attend one of our events.

    Stand Up Against Violence & Wrapped in Courage are just two of the campaigns happening throughout the year...

    Join our staff team.

    Employment opportunities for relief, contract &/or permanent positions...

    <![CDATA[Careers]]>, 07 Nov 2023 2:57:19 +0000Relief Residential Caseworker

    Reporting to the Residential Supervisor, this position provides direct service to abused women and their children in a residential setting, involving crisis intervention and client advocacy. This is a casual position, on an “as needed basis only”. Weekend and shift work required.

    Required qualifications include: graduate of a post secondary program in social sciences or related field; a thorough understanding of the issue of violence against women, and the impact on child witnesses; experience in crisis intervention, and proven ability to work cooperatively and effectively both as a team member and independently. Ability to speak and write in both English & French (preferred) valid driver’s licence and access to a car (preferred).

    Mail to:

    Leigh Sweeney, Executive Director
    Bernadette McCann House
    P.O. Box 244, Pembroke, Ontario K8A 6X3
    Fax: (613) 732-8667

    Email to:

    *Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

    BMH is an equal opportunity employer, committed to meeting needs under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Applications requiring accommodation should contact Administration 613-732-7776.

    <![CDATA[Cover Your Tracks]]>, 27 Oct 2023 2:10:40 +0000Internet Safety

    To be safe, erase any record that you have visited the Women & Children’s Shelter web site. If anyone has access to your computer, they will be able to see which web sites you have visited unless you erase your tracks.

    PC Windows – Internet Explorer
    (Before closing the Browser)

    Step 1: Select the Tools in the menu bar. Open the Internet Options Dialog Box and select the General Tab.

    Step 2: In the Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files. Check the “Delete all offline content” and click OK.

    Step 3: In the History, click Clear History.

    Step 4: In Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Cookies and then OK.

    Step 5: Click OK to exit the Internet Options Dialog Box.

    PC Windows – Mozilla Firefox
    (Before closing the Browser)

    Step 1: Select the Tools in the menu bar, then select the Options.

    Step 2: Click on the “Privacy” Option, with the picture of a padlock.

    Step 3: Select the “History” tab. Click on “Clear Browsing History Now”.

    Step 4: Select the “Cache” tab. Click on “Clear Cache Now”.

    Step 5: Click “OK” to exit the Options dialogue box.

    PC Windows – Netscape
    (Before closing the Browser)

    Step 1: Select the Edit in the menu bar, then select the Preference.

    Step 2: Under the Category, select Navigator. Then click Clear History as well as Clear Location Bar.

    Step 3: Under Privacy & Security, select Cookies. Then click View Stored Cookies. Lastly, click Remove All Cookies.

    Step 4: Under the Category, select Cache under Advanced. First click the Clear Memory Cache followed by the Clear Disk Cache.

    PC Windows
    (right click the mouse on the Start at the bottom of the menu bar, select Explore)

    Step 1: Select Windows in the C drive.

    Step 2: Open the Temporary Internet Files Folders. Select all the files inside this folder and delete.

    Step 3: Open the History folder (e.g. c:windowshistorytoday in Win 98), select all the files inside this folder and delete.

    Step 4: Open the Cookies folder (e.g. c:windowscookies in Win 98), select all the files inside this folder and delete.

    Step 5: Disable the Auto-Complete in the windows and/or browser options.

    Step 6: Finally, after completed the above deletions, you should also empty the recycle bin.

    Mac – Safari
    (Before closing the Browser)

    Step 1: Go to “history” tab on the main menu.

    Step 2: Scroll down to “clear history”.

    Mac – Firefox
    (Before closing the Browser)

    Step 1: Go to “preferences” under the “Firefox” tab in main menu.

    Step 2: Click on “Privacy” tab then go to the “Private Data” section on the bottom.

    Step 3: Click “Clear Now”.


    When you clear the cache and the history list, you erase ALL information that had been previously stored there. If your partner notices that the cache and history list have been deleted, he or she will realize that you know how to delete your tracks as well as possibly thinking that you have something to hide.

    A way to avoid suspicion is after clearing the CACHE and HISTORY LIST spend some time visiting sites that you think your partner wouldn’t object to. This way, the cache and history list start to get filled up and your partner might be less likely to notice that old information is missing.


    If an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. If you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password that’s difficult to guess. If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, print and save the messages as evidence of this abuse and report it to police.

    A woman’s partner can often tell when she makes up her mind to stop the abuse. Do not underestimate your partner. Always erase your tracks.

    Telephone Safety

    When you call Bernadette McCann House, or any organization that assists abused women, you must be careful to use a telephone that will not keep a record of the number you called. If you call long distance, the phone number will appear on the bill. Even if you call locally, if you use an Internet-based telephone system, with a name like VOIP or SKYPE, records of the call will be kept. If your partner has access to the system he or she will be able to identify who you have called.

    Cell phones can also keep records of the numbers that have been called.

    A local call made on a regular telephone line will not produce a record of the call. However, many telephones have a “redial” button, and you may want to call a friend or other “safe” number after you make any call you don’t want your partner to know about – they can check up on you just by pressing “redial”.

    One way to be sure your home telephone uses a regular telephone line is to check your telephone bill. It will come from a Telephone Company, such as Bell or Sprint. It will not list any local numbers, only long distance. If you still aren’t sure, you should use extra caution.

    The safest way to call or to receive calls from us is from a friend’s phone, a public phone, a work phone, or any telephone that has nothing to do with your partner.

    If you are in danger, call 911.

    <![CDATA[Stand Up Against Violence]]>, 27 Oct 2023 1:27:14 +0000To have your picture taken showing that you "Stand Up Against Violence"


    <![CDATA[Fundraise]]>, 27 Oct 2023 1:24:13 +0000Bernadette McCann House is very grateful for the fundraising efforts of many organizations in our community over the years. If your organization would like to fundraise on our behalf, please contact us by email or by telephone as follows:
    613.732.7776 ext.107

    We would be happy to discuss your ideas and forward a copy of our Fundraising Event Registration Form. Once approved by the agency, we would also be happy to provide you with any flyers or handouts outlining our services that you feel might enhance your event.

    Thank you so much for your generosity!

    <![CDATA[Donate]]>, 27 Oct 2023 1:20:46 +0000E-Donations

    Bernadette McCann House now offers the option to donate electronically to our non-profit organization via Interact e-transfer. Simply send your donations to Please send an email with the security answer, along with your name and address which will enable us to provide a receipt for tax purposes.

    If you are not familiar with e-transfer, the following website conatins a video and information showing how it works:

    For more information please contact us at 613-732-7776, or

    By Mail

    If you wish to donate please send your donation by mail to:

    Bernadette McCann House
    P.O. Box 244
    Pembroke, ON, K8A 6X3

    Item Donation

    We also accept donations of items for clients who access our services.  For a full list of items we need, check out our Wish List.

    Donations are accepted Monday - Friday between the hours of 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  Please kindly call in advance.

    <![CDATA[Accreditation]]>, 27 Oct 2023 10:34:44 +0000Bernadette McCann House is the first Women's Shelter in Canada to be accredited. By electing to be accredited by FOCUS Accreditation, BMH has voluntarily undertaken a rigorous external evaluation. This demonstrates a commitment to improving the quality of services we provide, and for offering services effectively and in a manner that meets best practice.

    Bernadette McCann House has received accreditation for 2012-2016 and 2016-2020

    FOCUS was established in 2004 in response to a need for an innovative and robust quality improvement and accreditation program that reflected current successful practices and trends in community-based human service organizations – with a mind to our Canadian culture and expectations.

    Using an inclusive process, we sought input from individuals and their families who use different types of community-based human services, as well as board members, staff, community stakeholders – and a wide range of sector experts in accreditation and standards.

    The result was an accreditation program with standards and processes that reflected sector best practices as well as Canadian expectations and values. The FOCUS Quality Improvement and Accreditation Program provides organizations with a comprehensive system that helps improve organizational culture and practices in meaningful ways.

    The above excerpt is from the Focus Accreditation website at

    <![CDATA[Our History]]>, 27 Oct 2023 10:32:28 +0000Bernadette McCann House become a reality due to the generosity of Harry and Bernadette McCann’s family. Upon her death, Bernadette McCann requested that $10,000 from her estate be used to support women in the community.  These funds were devoted towards a down-payment for a home, which would provide a safe place for women and children experiencing abuse. This home was named in her honour.

    After becoming incoporated during the Fall of 1978, Bernadette McCann House welcomed its’ first client into the Agency in 1979. 

    In 1995, the Ministry of Community and Social Services began a restructuring process, which resulted in the decision to have only one shelter in Renfrew County. This restructuring provided an opportunity to create a new organization, and with that a new name - Women's Shelter & Support Services. Over the next ten years, this newly created organization operated under both names, in hopes that it would be less confusing for those who needed access to the services provided by the Agency. In 2007, the Board of Directors chose to return to the original name of Bernadette McCann House.

    The Agency is 100% funded through the Ministry of Community & Social Services, and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (2018). At this time, there are additional funds received through the Ministry of the Attorney General, however these are not annualized.

    The Agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of women and men, who believe in working for change that will end abuse.  There is a maximum of fourteen members, involved in three committees; Governance, Resource Risk Management, and the Executive Committee. Board members are nominated to their positions during our Annual General Meeting held in June and remain with the Agency for a four-year term.

    We employ approximately 20 full time staff, and a compliment of relief staff. In addition, our services are supported by a dedicated team of volunteers, who contribute a broad range of skills to our programs.

    <![CDATA[Contact Us]]>, 26 Oct 2023 1:35:38 +0000If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

    Bernadette McCann House Caseworkers are available 24 hours a day by calling our Support / Crisis line, please note that if you do send us an email, it may take up to 24-48 hours to respond.
    If you need immediate assistance, please call our Support / Crisis line: 613-732-3131 / Toll Free: 1-800-267-4930

    ~NEW~ Email Support Although email is monitored regularly, response time may vary.

    ~NEW~Texting Support Line: 613-639-1233 Although messages are monitored regularly, response time may vary.

    Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm
    Tel: 613-732-7776 Fax: 613-732-8667  Business Email, for support email

    Bernadette McCann House
    P.O. Box 244, Pembroke, ON, K8A 6X3

    <![CDATA[Home]]>, 26 Oct 2023 1:14:14 +0000The Mission of Bernadette McCann House is to work for change that will end abuse by providing safety, support and education to all those who experience abuse.
    Support / Crisis Line 613-732-3131  Toll Free  1-800-267-4930
    Texting Line 613-639-1233 (Response time may vary) (Response time may vary)
    <![CDATA[About Us]]>, 17 Oct 2023 1:33:48 +0000

    Mission Statement

    The mission of Bernadette McCann House is to work for change that will end abuse by providing safety, support and education to all those who experience abuse.

    Statement of Philosophy

    Accountability and respect for diversity are fundamental, guiding principles of Bernadette McCann House.
    To live free of fear, oppression, and any form of abuse is a basic human right.

    Every person should be free to make their own choices regarding the direction of their lives. All people, including children affected by abuse, should be free to speak and be heard, and have their individual needs acknowledged.

    Abusers must accept accountablity for the short and long-term effect their abuse has on others.

    Focus Group

    As part of the participation process for Bernadette McCann House, a series of six focus groups were held throughout Renfrew County.  These focus groups which involved a variety of participants; women, men and service providers were conducted to gather information regarding what individuals knew about the Bernadette McCann House (BMH), if they referred anyone to BMH and what suggestions they would make to improve BMH services. The groups were convened between October and November 2018. Click here to download the Focus Report.

    <![CDATA[Strategic Planning]]>, 06 Jul 2022 2:19:38 +0000To view our Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 please click here.

    To view our Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 please click here.

    <![CDATA[Accessibility ]]>, 12 Oct 2021 5:26:57 +0000Bernadette McCann House acknowledges and promotes the rights of all persons with disabilities as protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. All persons, including those with disabilities, have the right to equal access and opportunity in employment, programs and services at Bernadette McCann House.

    Accessibility Compliance Report 2020

    Accessibility Compliance Report

    Client Concern Pamphlet

    <![CDATA[We Heard From You]]>, 10 May 2021 2:36:24 +0000<![CDATA[BMH Newsletters]]>, 27 Aug 2019 12:27:45 +0000Each year, Bernadette McCann House publishes a newsletter offering information on events,
    programs and services offered through the agency.

    2019 Newsletter

    Topics include: Director's Report, Board of Directors - Chair's Report, Journey Mapping,
    Our Services, The McCann Centre, 2019 Events, PARS Group, Statistics etc.

    Click here to view a copy of the 2019 Newsletter

    2017 Newsletter

    Topics include: Renfrew County Stands Up Against Violence, Capacity Building Project Report,
    Chair's Report, Executive Director's Report, Bilingual Services, Rural Realities Funding,
    Statistics, 2017 Events, etc.

    Click here to view a copy of the 2017 Newsletter

    2016 Newsletter

    Topics include: Wrapped in Courage, An Excerpt from This is Why I Didn't Tell You,
    Chair's Report, Executive Director's Report, Family Court: Support for Women and Men,
    More Than a Safe Place to Stay, Bilingual Services, 2016 Events, etc.

    Click here to view a copy of the 2016 Newsletter

    <![CDATA[Community Resources]]>, 27 Aug 2019 12:20:28 +0000Addiction Services:

    Renfrew County Addiction Treatment System

    Mental Health Services (Adult & Children):

    Phoenix Centre for Children and Families

    Mental Health Services of Renfrew County

    Crisis, Counselling & Outreach Services

    Women's Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County

    Kids Help Phone

    Crisis Line

    Victim Services Renfrew County

    Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre

    Community Support Services:

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Renfrew County

    Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke

    PFLAG Renfrew County

    Individual & Family Support Services:

    Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County

    Phoenix Centre for Children and Families

    Columbus House

    Financial Support Services:

    Ontario Works

    Housing Services:

    Renfrew County Housing Corporation

    Legal Services:

    Renfrew County Legal Clinic

    Military Services:

    Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre


    211 Ontario

    Shelter Safe