Indigenous Women’s Programs

Battered Women’s Support Services offers cultural services run by Indigenous women for Indigenous women. The Indigenous Women’s Program’s currently offers support programs and groups at BWSS and in partnership with other organizations. The Indigenous Women’s support workers use traditional healing practices while working with women survivors of trauma and colonization.

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Violence Prevention & Intervention

Indigenous Women’s Program offers direct services through drum groups, counselling, Elder’s and support groups and different ceremonies such as full moon and sweat lodge ceremonies. We are healing from the trauma of colonization, the effects and inter-generational effects of residential school, the loss of our children, and living life in a patriarchal society. By using holistic practices through traditional medicines and ceremonies, we are reclaiming our rightful roles as strong Indigenous women in our community, finding our voices and standing strong in our power.

  • Counselling: BWSS provides free support services, by phone or in person with a trained counsellor/advocate, for any adult woman who has been abused in an intimate relationship.
  • Advocacy: BWSS Advocates support women who are dealing with systems like the legal system, social assistance, child protection, unemployment or pension, medical system or the Indian Act.
  • Training for Service Providers: BWSS offers workshops for service providers on counseling, advocacy skills, and emerging issues on support for women who have experienced violence.
  • Support Groups: Groups support is the cornerstone of BWSS. They are intrinsic to empowerment and empowerment is at the heart of healing from the oppression of abuse and violence.  At any given time there are 10 support groups running throughout Greater Vancouver, supporting 8 to 15 women each. A few of our groups include: drop-in Support Groups, Women Seeking Safety Counseling, and Trauma Recovery and Empowerment.

Crisis Line 604-687-1867

Business Line 604-687-1868

Indigenous Women’s Crisis Worker/Victim Support Worker

  • Assists Indigenous women to understand and navigate the different systems, advocacy with social workers, police officers, medical appointments, housing, court personal, and court accompaniment to MCFD, family court, criminal court, and provide information on the court procedures.
  • Provides advocacy with MCFD and assists women with legal information and support with any child protection concerns
  • Provides short-term crisis counselling that includes safety planning and referrals to transition houses and other resources
  • Provides support with Indian Residential School forms and referrals to treatment
  • Update women on current information with Indian Residential Schools and transfer of the delegated Indigenous authorities on BC Indigenous children in care.

Indigenous Women’s Stopping the Violence (STV) Counsellor

  • Provides counselling to assist women with the effects of trauma, safety planning, feelings awareness, inner child work and loss of cultural identity
  • Facilitates groups and counselling groups including Healing from Trauma through Empowerment, Abuse in Relationships, Inside the Circle Healing for Women survivors of Residential School and foster care

The Outreach Team

  • To reach women who are in the greatest need and lack access resources.
  • Women who are at risk due to health issues such as HIV/AIDS, homelessness, violence and or addiction issues
  • Creating connections
  • Social Justice

Sister’s Empowerment Talking Circle Group

  • Women will learn are how to find balance within themselves and self-awareness of their own healing process.
  • Women will help strengthen their families and future generations. The content of this program assists women to have a better understanding by acknowledging the past and help them to recognize their strengths as survivors.

Wildflower Women of Turtle Island Drum Group

  • A hand drum group to heal from trauma, find our voices, and stand strong in our power through drumming and singing.
  • Indigenous women come together every Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm in Women of Turtle Island Drum Group.

Sisters’ Circle: Healing The Grief With The Medicine Wheel

  • An eight week closed group for Indigenous girls and women to assess the influences and/or challenges affecting us on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level at any given time throughout our life cycle.
  • The group is held every Friday from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm between Feb 21 and Apr 11 at BWSS office or in nature, when weather permits.

BWSS Drop-in At the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center

Battered Women’s Support Services group is held at the Downtown East side Women’s Center located at 302 Columbia street and is open to ALL women who have experienced violence. Many of the women who attend this group are First Nations. The drop-in group begins with supper served at 5PM and group begins at 6PM- 8PM.

In this group women have the opportunity to:

  • Meet other women who share common experiences
  • Receive emotional support, advocacy, information and practical help
  • Explore their situation and make decisions in a supportive & non-judgmental atmosphere

Women may drop in for as many sessions as they wish. No pre-registration is needed. Bus tickets will be provided.