FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2012
BATTERED WOMEN’S SUPPORT SERVICES TO RELEASE ESSENTIAL RESOURCE CARD FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
New Resource Card Provides Vital Information for Women in Abusive Relationships.
VANCOUVER, BC — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) has introduced a new Resource Card—a comprehensive, easy to understand guide to finding help for women experiencing violence. The Resource Card contains dozens of useful phone numbers, folding up to the size of a business card so that women using the card may do so discretely and without fear of its being discovered by an abusive partner.
Violence against women is endemic and an epidemic. A bigger danger to women’s well-being than cancer, with over 45 percent of women in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe experiencing some form of physical or sexual violence and subsequent impacts. Studies in Asia, Latin America and Africa show that violence against girls and women is ubiquitous. Violence against girls and women is a global problem. Research from North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia has found astonishingly high rates of sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, street harassment, violence in intimate relationships, gender-based cyber-bullying and other violations of bodies and minds of girls and women.
In Canada, a casual scan of the headlines of any major Canadian newspaper jars the reader with astonishing incidents of violence against girls and women at home and in the community. The last two months at their Vancouver office 4,000 women accessed BWSS support services on an ongoing basis with over 100 new intakes a month.
“The annual cost of violence against women in Canada has been estimated at over four billion dollars, including the related costs of social services, criminal justice, lost employment days, and health care interventions. There is no time to waste. We must take action now to end violence against women.” says BWSS Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall. “For every woman who reaches out to our support services, there are thousands more women in British Columbia who are living in fear.”
Funded by My Sister’s Closet, a social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services, the Resource Card positions BWSS as the main point of contact for women in need of support in abusive relationships. The information is laid out like a conversation between a woman asking for help and a BWSS crisis worker. The questions and concerns that are addressed in the Resource Card originated from the women themselves who access BWSS services. A woman needing support can hear herself in the narrative of the card and understand that support is available.
The card also lists contact information for emergency services that BWSS does not provide. To obtain a free Resource Card, call 604-687-1867, download at www.bwss.org or drop by My Sister’s Closet thrift boutique at 1092 Seymour Street in Vancouver, BC.
Battered Women’s Support Services was founded in 1979 to provide education, advocacy and support services to all battered women and to work toward the elimination of violence against women. In order to reduce its reliance on government funding and promote long-term financial sustainability, BWSS operates My Sister’s Closet as a social enterprise located on the border of downtown and Yaletown Vancouver, BC.
For more information
Angela Marie MacDougall