The Basics Series

Glass Houses

Saving Feminist Anti-Violence Agencies from Self-Destruction

by Rebekkah Williams (Adams)  

This book is an organizational behavioural and structural analysis of women’s anti-violence agencies, based on decades of work by the author in rape crisis centres, shelters and treatment programs.

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  • April 2008
  • ISBN: 9781552662656
  • 122 pages
  • $24.00
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

The author first experienced a women’s shelter when she and her mother were two of the first residents in Toronto’s Interval House in 1974. Her research is drawn from that experience, her own years of working in shelters and sexual assault centres and the experiences of her fellow workers. Adams witnessed hierarchies that set apart clients and management, where an executive director and managers abused power in the same way she had experienced in the outside’ world of men. Perhaps most heartbreaking, she witnessed the most egalitarian, community-based, healthy and peaceful group of women she had come to know be destroyed by an agency devoid of feminist leadership, drunk on fear and dysfunction, which accused women of running a ‘cult.’ In this book Adams seeks to address these issues and find solutions.

Feminism, Gender & Sexuality

What people are saying

Judith Taylor, Canadian Sociological Association

“Adams writes as if standing on hot coals – this is more manifesto…and her passion may stand to keep readers awake more than most published analyses of organizational behaviour. Faculty will find much to engage their students in this heart-felt, incisive book.”


Rebekkah Williams (Adams)

Rebekkah Williams (Adams), RP, is a registered psychotherapist, writer, trainer, and expressive arts therapist specializing in the treatment of sexual trauma for over 36 years. She co-founded Nemesis Group, a private psychotherapy practice specializing in c/PTSD, sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. 

Rebekkah also has a Graduate Certificate from the Humber School for Creative Writing and has recently launched Question Without Shame, a YouTube channel answering questions about sexual trauma.


  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Organizational Structure: Structural Issues, Boards of Directors, Non-Profit Agency Structure, The Executive Director
  • Organizational Operation: Glass Ceilings in Feminist Organizations, Picking the Right Staff, Financial Matters
  • The Organizational Administration: The Political, Language, The Fork and Spoon of Oppressive Behaviour and Cop-Outs
  • The Organization: Feminist Issues, The Unconscious, Thematic Issues, Traumatic and Introspection, The Issues that Threaten to Deplete Us
  • Bibliography


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