With #MeToo, BWSS has heard from unions and employers looking for options to address gender violence in their workplaces and ways to support survivors.

Women’s Advocate Core Training Program is a specialized training for representatives in unionized workplaces. Workplace harassment, intimate relationship violence and other forms of gender violence are a reality in our society. Intimate partner violence can come into the workplace when an abusive partner attempts to harass, threaten, stalk or harm a woman at work.  According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, 74% of domestic violence victims will experience abuse at work and the Ontario Safety Association reports that 90% of domestic violence incidents will be disclosed to a coworker.

This weekend, BWSS was honoured to build on our collaboration with the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) and the Teachers Staff Union (TSU) at the BCTF though training Women’s Advocates to support their membership. 

A Women’s Advocate is a specially trained workplace representative who assists women with concerns such as workplace harassment, intimate violence, and abuse. A Women’s Advocate, though not a counsellor, can provide vital support and critical connection to community-based and related workplace resources. The ultimate goal is to help create healthier workplaces and more safety in our communities.  The specially-trained workplace representatives help to fill a gap in an important matrix of supportive options for survivors and workplaces.

It is encouraging to see that many workers and employers no longer believe that violence in intimate relationships is an isolated individual issue. The Women’s Advocate Core Training Program is best when situated within strong management cooperation to build on a shared vision of health, wellness combined with equity and justice. Through the Women’s Advocate Core Training Program, BWSS is pleased to help add to the tools union and management have in preventing violence against women and workplace harassment. 

To learn more or to book a training email strategicinterventions@bwss.org

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