The Shield of Athena is a non-profit organization for victims of family violence. We offer emergency shelter and professional services to women and their children. Our support, intervention and prevention services are culturally and linguistically adapted to meet the needs of many of Montreal's major ethnocultural communities.
We offer three integrated services:
- Our offices, located in Laval and Montréal, offer multilingual services by professional social workers, trained cultural intermediaries and supervised law students
- Our shelter, Athena’s House, provides emergency housing to women and their children 24/7, in a safe and empowering environment
- Across Montreal and Laval, our community outreach program provides information to men and women in their own languages
The Shield is a registered charity.
June 17, 2015: On Monday June 15, the Shield of Athena held its Annual General Assembly. Members & non members were informed on the organization's activities & services of the past year. Some stats from the 2014-2015 year: 733 women and children received services either at our 2 centers or our shelter. 21 Outreach sessions were given this year on the topic of conjugal/family violence & 22 information sessions were given on honor based violence. Lastly, the Shield had 197 volunteers last year! Thank you to everyone who contributed to this monumental year!
June 16, 2015: We would like to thank a few wonderful people for organizing a very special and unique fundraising event for the Shield of Athena. On Friday June 12, a Batchata night fundraiser was organized with a special performance given by Ladies Touch Montreal, featuring the very talented Frédérique Roy-Lavoie. The theme of the moving choreography was the elimination of violence against women. A special thanks also goes out to Christian Gallegos & Stéphane Kizomba Houle, for a very fun dance lesson! We would like to thank you all for supporting our cause and raising awareness for this important issue.
June 05, 2015: On Wednesday June 3rd, The Shield of Athena launched its 2015-2016 Membership Drive which was chaired by the one & only Chris Nilan. It was a beautiful evening shared with long standing & new friends. We would like to thank everyone for coming, all of our sponsors, and our past spokesperson, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, who dropped by to say hello! A special thank you also goes out to Phil Shuchat & David Acer from the Comedy Nest and last but not least, Chris Taylor from DPC Movements Records for giving a spectacular show to our guests! From Global.
We would like to thank GLOBAL MONTREAL for always being there for us and our cause. Our friends at GLOBAL, do a fabulous job in promoting our events & raising awareness about family violence. We thank you so very much from the bottom of our hearts!
April 27, 2015: Good luck to the students from College Jean Eudes who are doing their Youth Philanthropy project (YPI) on the Shield of Athena!
April 24, 2015: On Thursday April 16 students from Lower Canada College entered the finals for their project on the Shield of Athena, as part of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. The Shield's executive director, Melpa Kamateros, was very proud of the young ladies as they placed in the top 5 and received a donation of $1000 for our organization!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015-At a ceremony held today at the City Hall of Parc Extension, The Shield of Athena launched its new website, Athena Legal Info ( www.athenalegalinfo.com) & gave special recognition to members of the Ethnic Media and their own Cultural Intermediaries for raising awareness about family violence in their communities.
For the past three years, the Shield of Athena has been committed to a special project so as to raise awareness in communities about family violence and in particular, honor based violence. Workshops have been given in various languages on issues such as violence against women, forced marriages, honor based violence, Canadian laws and resources. As well, a legal website was developed in collaboration with law students from McGill University and Université de Montréal, in 10 languages with legal information that is important for victims of family violence to be aware of.
Maud Pontel with part of her web team, including the Website's designer and laws students
Special thanks was also given to members of the ethnic media that have collaborated with the Shield on this project. The media partners have helped reached thousands of members of their respective communities through newspaper articles and radio & television programs.
Another special recognition was given to the Shield’s cultural intermediaries who have worked to empower women of their communities with knowledge concerning their rights and their options in Canada. Approximately 400 women received this vital information and are now better equipped in identifying potential victims and guiding them to the appropriate resources.
On Sunday March 29, 2015 The Shield of Athena had the great honour to be received at St George Antochian Lebanese Orthodox church to present on family violence and on how community support is essential helping victims break the cycle of abuse.
March 19, 2015: Chris Ann Nakis; President, Melpa Kamateros; Executive Director, Betty Petropoulos; Director of Social Services, Maria Papadopoulos; Clinical Supervisor & Siran Nahabedian; Social worker and Maria Kokkoris; co-ordinator of Athena's House at the National Assembly in Quebec City for a special recognition given by Pierre Arcand; member for Mount Royal, to the Shield of Athena Family Services.
March 8, 2015: On March 4, our ED, Melpa Kamateros was invited to speak at Dawson College , for International Women’s Day. The Dawson Teacher’s Union Women's Committee and the Dawson Students Union hosted a discussion panel on austerity and its impact on women. The other presenter was the Coordinator of Chez Doris, Tina Pisuktie.
February 23, 2015: February 3, Press conference and launch of ''Never Ever'' PSA by the Shield of Athena at the Guzzo Cinema, Marché Central. To view.
A powerful message on violence against women was produced by the Shield of Athena Family Services in collaboration with the Montreal Alouettes, and three of our local role models from the world of sports Bruno Heppell, Georges Laraque & Chris Nilan.
“There is no place for conjugal violence in our society & I have zero tolerance for anyone who is violent against their partner.” Chris Nilan, sportscaster TSN
“This is an important campaign because in 2015, conjugal violence is still a prevalent problem which shows us the need for continued awareness.” Georges Laraque , former NHL hockey player.
“This year’s conjugal violent case in the NFL shows us the severity of this problem and that it touches us all. We have all come in contact with a victim in some way or another in our lives and so we do not need to be afraid to talk about it. We need to take action” Bruno Heppell , former Alouettes player, sportscaster on RDS.
“It’s at the youngest age possible that we need to show our youth that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and its during their first dates that respect for girls must be established.” Vincenzo Guzzo, Guzzo Theatres distributor of this PSA.
‘’ Athletes are regarded as role models for young people, what they say does make a difference. It is also an extension of including more men in such campaigns as violence against women is everybody’s business.’’ Melpa Kamateros, Executive Director, SOAFS
‘’Global Montreal congratulates the Shield of Athena members, volunteers and supporters on their tireless efforts to end violence against women. We are proud to be part of the incredible team effort that made the Never Ever campaign possible. We encourage you to help promote this simple message of non violence.’’ Global Montreal
February 12, 2015: The Shield of Athena held a volunteer training session. The organizations new volunteers received information on the Shield's network of services and they gained a greater awareness & understanding of conjugal and family violence. The director explained the Shield's beginning & the need for culturally & linguistically adapted services for members of ethno-cultural communities and the co-ordinator presented on the Shield's community outreach department & public awareness campaigns. A social worker from La Maison d'Athéna explained the different types of violence, the cycle of violence and went over some common myths concerning family violence. Lastly, The Shield's stagiaire from the McGill law program explained the legal procedure involved in such cases . We thank everyone for their participation & their interest in our cause..
February 12, 2015: The Shield of Athena held a volunteer training session. The organizations new volunteers received information on the Shield's network of services and they gained a greater awareness & understanding of conjugal and family violence. The director explained the Shield's beginning & the need for culturally & linguistically adapted services for members of ethno-cultural communities and the co-ordinator presented on the Shield's community outreach department & public awareness campaigns. A social worker from La Maison d'Athéna explained the different types of violence, the cycle of violence and went over some common myths concerning family violence. Lastly, The Shield's stagiaire from the McGill law program explained the legal procedure involved in such cases . We thank everyone for their participation & their interest in our cause.
December 15, 2014: It was such a pleasure to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of our shelter, Athena's House with all of our supporters on Sunday November 30th at le Windsor. In honor of this special milestone we produced a short film featuring the history of the shelter, including our struggles & triumphs over the years. We would like to thank the participants in this film for their ongoing support and the passion they hold in their hearts for our cause. Please take a few moments to view it!
December 12, 2014: Two more special volunteers donate 100 shoe boxes filled with gifts along with diapers and baby formula for the babies that stay at our shelter. We thank you for your generosity.
December 1, 2014: We want to thank all of the guests, artists & volunteers that made the 10 Year Anniversary Celebration of Athena's House a success & a night to remember. A VERY BIG thank you as well, to this year's chairperson, Nadia Saputo & all her hard work and fabulous decorating team. Everything was beautiful thanks to everyone's support & big hearts! Thank you!
Nadia Saputo, Chairwoman of the event welcomed close to 180 guests at le Windsor on Sunday November 30th for a chic soiré in celebration of the 10 Year Anniversary of Athena’s House, the Shield’s crisis shelter for women & children victims of family violence.
Guests participated in the organization’s trademark event, their Annual Art Auction, also celebrating a special 20th anniversary. Participating artists included; Katerina Mertikas whose works are in the private collections of Princess Diana of Wales, Julios Iglesias, Roger Moore, Alexander Young Jackson, founding member of the famous Group of Seven, Jan Delikat and Marek Zoltak.
A special preview of a new PSA on violence against women, done with Montreal athletes and to be aired on Global Montreal in the near future was shown that evening.
The funds raised that evening will go towards services for women and children of Athena’s House and the two centers in Montreal & Laval.
Major Sponsor : Mantab Food Company Canada, Fanadica; Flowers & Events, Planéte Mobile, Rogers, Mobiphone, Fido, Scotia McLeod; Nick Papapanos, Bâton Rouge de la Montagne & Complexe Desjardins, Sir Winston Churchill Pub, Air Canada Foundation, Landau Sacamoto Inc., Paul Kamateros & Family, Schwartz’s Deli, Buonanotte Traiteur, Paola’s Catering, Global Television, CJAD 800 AM, TSN 690, CKIN FM, Mike FM.
October, 07 2014: The Shield of Athena is very happy to collaborate with the Alouettes so as to raise awareness about family violence. Please look at the link for the Alouette's president interview on 98.5. Paul Houde interview with Luc Brodeur .
September, 15 2014: Melpa Kamateros was very happy to have been invited by Tommy Schnurmacher to be a part of the panel discussing conjugal violence on his show on CJAD radio. We are grateful for the media programs that give us the opportunity to reach thousands of listeners so as to raise awareness about family violence and the services that are available for victims of abuse.
June 22, 2014: Thank you Marion for organizing the beautiful event entitled, Behind Closed Doors. We would like to congratulate you for such a unique idea for the event and for all of your time & hard work corresponding with artists, acquiring a beautiful venue and promoting the event. We also thank all the artists who participated and have graciously ceded a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their works. Your efforts in helping us raise funds for the services we offer to women and children victims of family violence is very much appreciated.
The project was developed in collaboration with the City of Laval, The Police of Laval, CAVAC and three Laval shelters. The tools developed within this project include: A new booklet in 10 languages, a multilingual audio message for victims arriving at shelters and consultations with cultural intermediaries. The Police of Laval, CAVAC and three Laval shelters. The tools developed within this project include : A new booklet in 10 languages, a multilingual audio message for victims arriving at shelters and consultations with cultural intermediaries.The Police of Laval, CAVAC and three Laval shelters. The tools developed within this project include : A new booklet in 10 languages, a multilingual audio message for victims arriving at shelters and consultations with cultural intermediaries.
April 10, 2014: In honor of National Victims Awareness week, The department of justice, visited the Shield of Athena to experience a day in the life of our organization and how we help victims of family violence, particularly those coming from ethno-cultural communities that face additional barriers in accessing help. http://www.semainedesvictimes.gc.ca/experience-stories/essai-essay/athena.html
March 24, 2014 : The Shield of Athena took part in the SCC job fair at Vanier College. We have a longstanding relationship with Vanier and greatly enjoy providing internship and employment opportunities to students.
March 21, 2014 : The Shield of Athena presented at a conference organized by "FILIA-Association Du Troisième Âge " held in the Greek community on Elder Abuse.
March 11, 2014: In honor of International Women's Day, Dawson College held a 2 day fundraiser for the Shield of Athena Family Services. We thank the organizing committee for all their hard work and helping us raise awareness about family violence.
October 23, 2013: We would like to thank CTV for supporting our 19th Annual Art auction. We greatly appreciate their help in promoting our event and our cause. To view the commercial, please click on the following link.. click here
September 30, 2013: The Shield of Athena’s 19th Annual Art Auction that will be held on Sunday November 10, 2013 at Marché Bonsecours is a one of a kind event. There is no such other event in Montreal that promotes talented artists and their beautiful paintings and at the same time raises awareness and funds about family violence. There are over 30 participating artists and 100 pieces of art to be viewed and bid on. There is art for every taste and budget! Guests will also enjoy a wonderful cocktail that includes wine and hors d’oeuvres. For more details
September 23, 2013:
The Shield of Athena is so happy to announce the return of 2 of Montreal’s wonderful media personalities at this year’s 19th Annual Art Auction. CJAD’s, Eramelinda Boquer and 98.5’s sports journalist, Jeremy Filosa will be the auctioneneers of the event. This will be Filosa’s 2nd consecutive year and Boquer’s 9th year. The event will take place on Sunday November 10, 2013 at Marché Bonsecours and will raise funds for victims of family violence. Thank you to this dynamic duo that will do a fabulous job!
September 18, 2013:
New parenting group from October 16 to november 27, 2013.
June 10, 2013: On behalf of the entire team at the Shield of Athena Family Services, we would like to thank everyone who attended the launch our 2013-2014 Membership Campaign Launch on June 5, 2013 at Baton Rouge de la Montagne. Once again, almost 200 guests attended the event in support of the organization’s multilingual prevention and intervention services to victims of family violence. We are very touched by our sponsors and guests generosity. We thank Chris Ann Nakis for hosting the event at her restaurant and our chairperson Chris Nilan for his support. A special thank you also goes out to the Comedy Nest's Sébastien Bourgault and the Troupe Folkorique Grecque Syrtaki. Everyone’s contribution made this a wonderful and very successful fundraising event.The Shield of Athena is happy to announce that this year's event generated $21,000 for its services to women and children victims of family violence. (Photos)
May,03,2013: Mother's Day Fundraiser May 9th, 10th & 11th at l'Aquafure Salon. Spa, 5674 Monkland Avenue. ( Facial treatments, Hair care, Make up, Body care, Hand care, Foot care and Laser hair removal). 50% of the sales will benefit the Shield of Athena. Prizes to be won! Please reserve at: 514-369-3333 and mention the fundraiser. www.laquafure.com.
April, 25, 2013: Trafalgar School for Girls is having an Event open to all, a Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at Club de Golf Métropolitain Anjou, to benefit their bursary fund and the Shield of Athena. Please find below a link to the Trafalgar Open page on Traf's website: https://www.trafalgar.qc.ca/page.cfm?p=425
February 1st, 2013: On the evening of February 1st, over 130 guests attended a special ceremony hosted by The Shield of Athena Family in Honor of the Recipients of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Thirty individuals in the categories of volunteerism, philanthropy, community outreach & services delivery and media partnership, were honored for their outstanding contribution to the Shield of Athena Family Services’ mission towards raising more awareness on the issue of family violence and providing services to victims. Recipients included police officers, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, social workers, journalists, members and volunteers who have provided the Shield of Athena with their longstanding support. The evening’s special guest was the Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne. At the same time, it honors Canadians for their significant contributions and achievements to their community and to our country. (photos)
See us on Global Montreal: http://www.globalmontreal.com/video/diamond+jubilee/video.html?v=2331509811#stories
December 20, 2012 - THANK TO OUR HOLIDAY DONORS
A Thank you to
- Karina and Antonio from SPORTIRA
- for their campaign
- for toys and food
- for the children exposed
- to violence
- from the Shield.
A BIG THANK YOU TO:
- SUZY SHIERS, John and Linda Ciolfi
- Steven Segal
- Ronnie Gottlieb
- Hellenic Appeal
- Hellenic Golfer Association
- Paul Nakis and Family
Happy Holidays to all!
SOAFS staff and Board
November 12, 2012 - Over 400 people gathered this Sunday November 11th, at the Bonsecours Market in Old Montreal. The Shield of Athena, Montreal’s only Multicultural network of services for victims of family violence, held their 18th annual Art Auction, under the High Patronage of His Excellency Orestis Kafopoulos; Consul general of Greece, and raised nearly $105, 000 for their services to women and children, offered at their two centers and emergency shelter. Click to read the articles in the Suburban on page 10 and Journal de Montreal
October 12, 2012 - It is with great joy that we announce that the Shield of Athena's Multilingual Community Outreach Department received the 2012 Excellence Award from the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Québec, in the category “Support to vulnerable persons and groups”. It is with great emotion that we accepted this award from the Minister Dr Réjean Hebert on Thursday October 11th in Quebec City. This is a wonderful reward and a recognition of our organization , something of which we can be extremely proud of! (for more details and photo)
June 21, 2012 - We would like to send a very heartfelt thankyou to Jennie Constantinides for the great work and support she contributrd to the Shield during her presidency. We would also like to welcome our new president, the Honorable Eleni Bakopanos. We look foward to working together and pursuing the Shield's mission of helping victims of family violence break the cycle of abuse.
June 20th, 2012 - The Shield of Athena held its Annual General Assembly at Kalysta Reception Hall in Laval. A total of 31 people, members and non members were in attendance. The executive director, Melpa Kamateros, along with the staff, presented the services and activities that were given at the external offices and at the shelter, for the 2011-2012 year. Photos
March 21, 2012. With the financial support of Status of Women Canada, The Shield of Athena will soon begin a three year public awareness and community outreach program on honor crimes. We are extremely honored that Prime Minister, Stephen Harper dropped by our offices on Friday March 16 to .... Read more (plus links to photos and video)
February 25, 2012. The Shield of Athena held their 5th Annual Comedy Nest fundraiser. The show was headlined by Carole Montgomery.
February 10, 2012. This week's online Suburban Magazine posts an article on our organization! To read this article go to www.thesuburban.com and click on the Magazine button. The article appears on page 21.
May 9, 2011. Thanks to our Martini and Makeover fundraiser guests and to Shmink Cosmétics and Spa Evita. Celebrity make-up designer Steven Reti and Shmink Cosmétics teamed up for fabulous makeovers and for Shmink's new signature lipstick ATHENA, created just for us. All proceeds go to our shelter, Athena's House. Lastly, we thank Panama Rotisserie for their ongoing support. Athena's beauties
March 7, 2011. Executive Director Melpa Kamateros spoke at the Toronto conference 'A Dialogue on Family Violence in Culturally Diverse Communities: Practical Approaches to Prevention and Response'. The conference was hosted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police with financial support from Justice Canada and Public Safety Canada.
February 15, 2011. The Shield offered its parenting group and two closed and confidential support groups for women who are victims of conjugal violence, one in French and the other in Spanish.
February 23, 2011- BPW International Night of Violence Against Women - Violence Against Our World featured Keynote speaker, Melpa Kamateros, Executive Director of the Shield of Athena.
February 17 , 2011- The Shield of Athena held a free training session on family violence from 10am-2pm. Presentations given by our social workers, community outreach agents and a police officer.
February 3, 2011- The Shield of Athena and V-day McGill invite you to the production of Eve Ensler's theVagina Monologues. The Shield of Athena is one of the beneficieries of this year's production. For more information, please visit: http://vday.mcgill.ca/
February 2, 2011- NEW: for its campaign on sexual violence in intimate partner relationships, the Shield, in collaboration with its community partners, produced information segments in Arabic, Creole, Spanish, Mndarin and Vietnamese. to view follow the link.