The Refuge is sensitive to and celebrates diversity in all its forms. The Refuge understands that violence towards women and other vulnerable persons happens in the context of gender stereotypes, gender roles, the objectification and sexualization of female bodies, double standards upheld in the media and advertising, victim blaming, and socially-upheld patriarchal and political dynamics of power and control. These limiting and self-perpetuating frameworks become internalized beliefs that limit women and girls in terms of their growth and development, erode their self-esteem and self-worth, and serve to silence voices that only want to be heard.
The Refuge also recognizes that men and boys can and are also victimized and carry shame as a result of their early experiences, and often suffer in silence due to gender stereotypes and male socialization around vulnerability as a sign of weakness.
The Refuge believes that all persons, regardless of gender, sex, sexual orientation, physical ability, faith, culture or ethnicity, have the power to be allies in supporting vulnerable, exploited and marginalized persons by speaking out against outdated stereotypes, beliefs or actions that are disempowering or abusive, in order to foster a world in which all are free to exist and reach their full potential.