Women's Initiatives For Safer Environments - Initiatives des femmes pour la sécurité environnementale

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History of WISE – How it Started!

The WISE organization gives women and communities tangible solutions to combat the problem of violence, and commits to continue working to make Ottawa “SAFER FOR WOMEN, SAFER FOR ALL!” Read on to see how it all began.

In 1990, a group of concerned women met to talk about safety for women in response to a number of sexual assaults against women in the urban centre of Ottawa. From the work of this small group came the Women and Urban Safety Committee. After a two-year community process, involving hundreds of women and men from across the region, the Women and Urban Safety Committee were granted core funding by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. These funds were to establish and operate a local organization that would work to create a community that was safer for women. The original grant was for an 18-month period. We now receive funding from the City, to be approved periodically, and project funding from other bodies.

The organization incorporated in 1992 as Women's Action Centre Against Violence (WACAV), naming the issue as violence - clearly stating our focus on women's experience and our desire to create change. Keeping with that objective, and evolving with the changing community needs, the organization adopted a new name. Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments (WISE) allows the community to more quickly grasp our mandate and purpose. We felt that this was best accomplished with a strong focus on the concept of promoting safety for women and everyone in our community. WISE has evolved and expanded our programming with the development of many new initiatives to provide direct interaction throughout the city on all issues of safety.

We are proud to say that for 24 years, WISE has been very creative and productive. Despite being a small organization, staff, with input from volunteers and a dedicated working Board, has designed and delivered quality work, making Ottawa SAFER FOR WOMEN, SAFER FOR ALL!