A sad reality at Hiatus House in Windsor.

CTV News has learned the agency that helps women looking to escape an abusive relationship is turning people away.

Executive Director Thom Rolfe admits it is the first time it has happened in their history.

Hiatus House has capacity for 42 women, including their children. But for the last three months, the shelter has been operating at full occupancy.  That means seven women have been turned away.

Rolfe admits it has been “extremely difficult for our staff.”

Rolfe tells CTV Windsor every situation is assessed. If a high risk case arrives, Rolfe says the shelter will admit beyond capacity. But he admits for women experiencing less severe abuse, they are forced to get help elsewhere.

Almost 20 per cent of the clients at Hiatus House come from Essex County.

To help ease some of the strain, the agency is planning for an additional shelter in Leamington.