Yukon has a new transitional home for women escaping domestic violence.

It will provide affordable and secure housing for up to 18 months as well as support programs.

The centre in Whitehorse is called Betty's Haven. It's named after Gwich'in Elder Betty Sjodin who has worked as a women's advocate for more than 30 years.

"I am just feeling so humble, honoured and elated. What a wonderful building," she said.

The new building features 10 apartment units. It is owned by the Yukon Women's Transition Home Society.

Barb McInerney is the executive director of the Yukon Women's Transition Home Society, the owner and Operator of Betty's Haven, a non-profit society.

"This does send a clear message to our community that the health and safety of the women and our children in a priority to all of us," she said.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski spoke at the ribbon cutting.

He praised the facility for providing a secure and supportive environment for women.

"As a government we are acutely aware of the issues facing women in Yukon and understand the importance of making sure that women and children in crisis — fleeing abusive situations — have the support that they need," Pasloski said.

The Yukon government pledged $4.5 million to the project.

Pasloski says the shelder will offer "real solutions and real help."

Minister Elaine Taylor, responsible for the territorial government's Women's Directorate, thanked Yukon women's groups. She said their advocacy helped make the case that housing and women's safety are linked.

bettys-haven-exterior

Yukon's government has pledged $4.5 million to the project.(CBC)

Women staying at the shelter will have access to legal aid and will be referred to available community and health services.

"Leaving a situation of abuse takes personal strength and commitment and it's not easy to leave. I can tell you that having a welcoming environment will result in many new beginnings for families."

The new shelter will open to women and their families in a few weeks.