Activities on Violence Against Women – Canadian Council of Refugees and Battered Women’s Support Services

Battered Women’s Support Services works with Refugee women dealing with violence in their intimate relationships assisting women to navigate the legal system while providing crisis intervention and related supports.  Extremely marginalized, Refugee women fall through the cracks of social safety net as most service providers find they are unable to extend and include Refugee women who experience violence in their mandate.  Rosa Elena Arteaga writes about our work with Refugee women in A Journey to Freedom.

Battered Women’s Support Services has been working closely with Canadian Council of Refugees to strengthen the advocacy and support for Refugee women who are experiencing violence in their intimate relationship.  Wehad the opportunity to co-present a workshop at Canadian Council of Refugees Fall Consultation held in Calgary, Alberta in November 2010.  The workshop: Empowering Women Survivors of Violence in Immigration and Refugee Processes was co-presented with Rosa Elena Arteaga from Battered Women’s Support Services, Rita Acosta, Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste, from Montreal, Lobat Sadrehashemi, an Immigration Lawyer, from Vancouver and moderated by Yasmine Dossal.  Information about the workshop can be found here: Calgary Fall 2010.  Recommendations coming out of the session included CCR applying a gender analysis of Bill C-11.  Battered Women’s Support Services has filed Gender Persecution and Refugee Law Reform in Canada written by Lobat Sadrehashemi. 

Another recommendation made at the event was the development of an online space for people across the country to share resources and obtain information
on service and legal issues for those serving Refugee women in and/or getting over situations of violence.

Yesterday we received the following announcement from CCR:

The CCR is pleased to announce that at our upcoming Consultation in Hamilton Ontario, we will keep the issue of violence against newcomer women in the foreground. Several events will highlight this issue, and continue the discussion on ending violence against women, as well as serving newcomer women in situations of violence.

For information on the Consultation, visit:


Launch of CCR Web Page on Violence against Women

The Spring Consultation marks the launch of the CCR’s initiative to address violence against non-status, refugee and immigrant women. This initiative was developed in response to a demand from CCR members for a national forum to connect people serving newcomer women in situations of violence across the country. There is now a page on the CCR’s website dedicated to this issue, with information, resources, tools, and links to initiatives around this issue across the country. The site will be useful to front-line settlement workers, lawyers, women’s rights organizations, community organizations, researchers and others. Interested individuals can also sign up to the new CCR Violence Against Women email list in order to share information and resources, ask questions and get answers on serving newcomer women in situations of violence from colleagues across the country.

To visit the webpage, go to: 
To sign up to the email list, send a message to:

Canadian Council of Refugees Spring Consultation May 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario

Battered Women’s Support Services is pleased to co-present in Hamilton, Ontario, May 26-28, 2011 when Canadian Council of Refugees the Spring Consultation. 

Workshop: The Role of Men in Ending Violence against Women
Thursday May 26th, 4-5:30pm
This workshop will speak to the agency and responsibility of men to end violence against women. Speakers from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal will speak on the importance of engaging men to take action to end violence against women, and will share their experiences and strategies to do so. Men are especially encouraged to attend this session.

Adolfo Garcés, Counterpoint, Toronto
Alain Philoctète, PRISME, Montréal
Angela Marie MacDougall, Battered Women’s Support Services, Vancouver

Caucus Session: Continuing the discussion on Men’s Role in Ending Violence against Women
Friday May 27th, 1-2pm
This informal discussion session will allow participants to dialogue with experienced organizers on how to engage men and how to become engaged as men in the struggle to end violence against women. Byron Hurt, a filmmaker and anti-sexist activist from New Jersey who provides cutting-edge male leadership in the field of sexual and gender violence prevention and education, will be present to co-facilitate this session with Angela Marie MacDougall from Battered Women’s Support Services