BWSS is honoured to receive the BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Award

BWSS is honoured to receive the BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Award

Attorney General Niki Sharma and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, awarded Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) with a Breaking Barriers Award, for our work in tackling systemic and institutional racism and reducing barriers for marginalized communities.

The 2023 British Columbia Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards Ceremony was held privately on March 21, 2023, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The ceremony was so inspiring; congratulations to all the other nominees and award recipients. And thank you to all the wonderful people that nominated us. We thank you so much.

94,736 is the alarming number of times someone experiencing domestic or sexualized violence has reached out to BWSS, between March 2020 to March 2022.

Battered Women’s Support Services has been at the forefront of the national conversation about domestic and sexualized violence against women since 1979.

The founding women at BWSS recognized that gender-based violence does not only take place between two individuals in isolation, but, rather, in a social context and a world view that systemically reinforces the power of some people to oppress others, including through gender, race, ability, citizenship, sexuality, and more.

BWSS continues to work to deepen the understanding of gender-based violence, beyond the narrative of the perfect victim, and to break barriers and exclusions in the delivery of anti-violence programs and services.

BWSS is committed to all victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

BWSS continues to address systemic racism and to increase access and safety for Indigenous, Black, newcomer immigrant/refugee, amongst many others.

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of BWSS, says: “Receiving the Breaking Barriers Award is recognition of our work on gender-based violence, and the intersection of racism as established by the founding women of BWSS in 1979. There is no universal victim of domestic or sexualized violence, and so we link arms with our communities of survivors across B.C. to support and continue our work on ending gender-based violence and racism.”

The honour of receiving the Breaking Barriers Award comes ahead of an upcoming launch of BWSS’s revised legal advocacy program.

This program will support increased access to justice, including culturally-appropriate, multilingual legal information, education and supports for racialized women and gender-diverse survivors of gender-based violence in B.C.

The program represents a significant investment in the fight against systemic oppression, and will serve as a powerful tool for driving change and creating a more just and equitable future for survivors.

Province celebrates B.C.’s diversity champions

Multiple forms of oppression are simultaneous and cannot be separated from one another; ending gender-based violence requires dismantling racism and all structural oppression.

This is why we work from an intersectional, anti-racist, decolonial and feminist perspective to eliminate gender-based violence and promote gender equity.

Responding to gender-based violence through working to end racism is challenging, but necessary.

Our report Colour of Violence: Race, Gender & Anti-Violence Services explores the extent to which gender and race influence system-based responses to gender-based violence.