Service declaration


The Shield of Athena Family Services is a not-for-profit, community-based organization that provides professional support, Culturally and linguistically adapted interventions and prevention to the needs of women victims of family and/or conjugal violence and their children, as well as members of ethnocultural communities.

A leader in this field, The Shield helps women and children, as well as cultural communities, to break the cycle of psychological, verbal, economic, sexual and physical violence. All our services are free for our clients.

Our service network has three integrated components:

  • Multilingual services are offered by professional social workers, assisted by cultural intermediaries trained for this purpose at our offices in Laval and Montreal;

  • Our shelter, La Maison d'Athena, provides 24/7 emergency shelter services in a safe and rehabilitative environment for women and children who are victims of family violence;

  • Our multilingual community awareness program informs the population of Greater Montreal and Laval in their mother tongue about issues of family and/or spousal violence, including honour-based violence.


Victim Services

The Shield of Athena employs social workers, educators and cultural intermediaries who provide multilingual and multidisciplinary services to women and children who are victims of domestic and/or family violence.

These services are offered exclusively to women who have been referred to us by existing social services or who fall within the mandate of the Shield of Athena (women victims of domestic or domestic violence and their children). The forms of family and/or spousal violence that fall within our mandate are: physical violence, psychological violence, verbal violence, spousal

sexual violence, economic violence and a subcategory of family/spousal violence: honour-based violence that includes forced marriages.


All our services are confidential and include:


Individual services (including crisis intervention, advice, information and references) :

The Shield of Athena provides individual and confidential consultation services, cns1s interventions and references to women and children exposed to family violence at our offices in Montreal and Laval and at our shelter, the Maison d'Athena. Through our cultural facilitators and intermediaries from diverse communities, we are able to offer culturally appropriate counselling services in the following languages:


  • Arabic

  • Armenian

  • English

  • Creole

  • Spanish

  • Farsi

  • French

  • Greek

  • Hindi

  • Italian

  • Punjabi

  • Russian

  • Urdu

  • Dari

  • Gujarati

  • Vietnamese

  • Japanese

*Languages available may vary depending on the availability of our interpreters and the current workforce

Price: free of charge


Legal clinic (September to April)

It is in total confidentiality that the Shield of Athena offers its clients free legal clinics that include legal information about their rights and laws in the areas of family law, youth law, criminal law and immigration. These clinics are given by a law student from McGill University who is supervised by a lawyer and students from the Université de Montreal.

Students cannot give advice, they can only give general legal information about the laws in force and the rights of victims.


Please note that to access legal clinic services, you must first be a client of the Shield of Athena (have a file with us).

Price: free


Financial aid

The Shield of Athena provides economic assistance in the form of food, clothing, diapers and toys twice a year during the holiday season and in the spring during the Easter holidays. This service is only available to our long-term clients (clients who are not with their husband and have had more than three consultations with our social workers) whose needs have been assessed. The items given and the quantity depend on the donations received.

Price: free


Home visits

The Shield of Athena may offer consultations at the home of women in particular situations.

This service is at the discretion of the social worker, is only offered in Montreal and Laval, and is not always offered.


Price: free



Social workers and/or other members of the team, including students and cultural interpreters, can accompany victims during their testimony in a criminal trial, in their dealings with social assistance and legal aid. However, this depends on each situation and is therefore not a guaranteed service. Social workers determine in what situations this service is needed and take into account the client's level of communication in English and French.

Price: free


Post-Shelter Services

The Shield of Athena provides external follow-up services to our former residents of the House of Athena if the social worker determines that follow-up and support services are required.

Price: free

  • Support groups (all support groups and the languages in which they are offered vary depending on demand). Here are some examples:

    • Support groups for women victims of domestic violence

      • Our support groups for women who are victims of domestic violence provide participants with a safe environment where they can express themselves and share with other women in similar situations. The goal of these groups is to enable the participants to break the cycle of violence, to show them that they are not alone and that they have different options.

      • All candidates are first met by our social workers.

    • Support groups for women victims of sexual abuse within the couple

    • These support groups are only available to women who are victims of sexual abuse within their couple.

    • All the candidates are first met by our social workers. o Parenting Skills Development Groups

    • The purpose of these groups is to develop strategies to assist mothers who are raising children who witness or are victims of spousal or family violence. These groups focus on issues such as parental responsibility, family discipline, the importance of play, and safe practices.

    • All the candidates are first met by our social workers.

Emergency accommodation: Athena's house


Since 2004, La Maison d'Athena has been providing emergency shelter services to women who are victims of domestic violence and their children in a safe and healthy environment. While regaining their strength, our residents develop, with the help of our professionals, long-term survival strategies for themselves and their children. We receive more than 100 women and children a year.


All our services are linguistically and culturally adapted to the specific needs of our clientele. Several languages are spoken at home.


Our house is non-denominational and we respect various religious practices. The House of Athena also receives the children of the victims.

As soon as our clients and their children leave the Maison d'Athena, they can receive follow-up services at our Montreal and Laval offices if deemed necessary by social workers.


Services offered at the House of Athena (detailed above):

  • Individual consultations

  • Legal clinics

  • Information sessions

  • Accompaniment

  • References and Support

  • Information sessions on parenting skills development, domestic violence and legal issues.



Our clients are fed free of charge and receive clothing and toiletries for herself and their children if necessary.


Information sessions

The House of Athena offers information sessions in English and French for approximately two hours on the different aspects of domestic violence. These information sessions allow residents to express their experiences and our speakers then explain to them the legal and legal procedures and the resources available for victims of violence.


Our services are offered at our offices in Laval and Montreal, at our shelter centre, The House of Athena and, in some cases, in clients' homes. All our services are free.


Commitment to Victims


The Shield of Athena is committed to:

  • Welcome its clients in a warm environment;

  • Be respectful and support women in their rehabilitation;

  • Promote and use interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral methods;

  • Provide secure and confidential services for our clients;

  • Provide equal access and social justice;

  • Ensure integrity and professionalism in our interventions;

  • Provide a culturally appropriate approach that advocates that violence is unacceptable and non-negotiable, regardless of ethnic origin, education, religion and socio-economic background;

For all victims within our mandate.


Complaints procedure

Person responsible for receiving the complaint: Hasmik Manucharyan (Liaison Agent)

To file a complaint about dissatisfaction with the Shield of Athena Family Services' external services, please send an email to and include your information (and phone number) and a statement of the situation (see form below) (date the subject matter of the

complaint occurred, the service the customer is dissatisfied with, what happened, etc.). It is also possible to lodge a complaint over the phone (514-274-8117) or in person (please call us for more information on this process).


A victim who has made a complaint may contact the organization at any time to be informed of the status of their complaint. A complaint will be acknowledged to the complainant in a delay of 7 workable days. Once processed, the outcome of the complaint will be communicated with the victim.


Note that the processing time of a complaint varies depending on the circumstances but should not exceed 30 workable days. Our opening hours are from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday excluding holidays. Please contact us to find out the status of your complaint.

Download the complaint form