When She Tells You About the Violence: Training for Family Doctors

1 in 5 women make their first disclosure of violence in an intimate relationship to their general practitioner.

In B.C., an average of 232 women per year are admitted to a B.C. hospital for severe injuries from intimate partner violence.

Violence against girls and women is often not included in discussions of women’s health; it is considered a social issue, not a medical issue. So how do doctors ask their patient if she is experiencing violence from a partner or family member? For general practitioners, this is a tough question to ask, especially if they aren’t sure where to direct their patient to get support.

February 21, 2019 Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director at BWSS presented to second year residents at University of British Columbia Medical School on best practices when supporting victims of abuse and violence in their work. By bridging the gap and giving general practitioners more resources in understanding the dynamics of power and control in violence, assessing risks, safety planning and alleviating women’s isolation by connecting them to support. Because the data shows that when women are connected to support organizations, they and their children are safer.

If you are a general practitioner in B.C. and would like more information on how best to support patients who experience violence click here to download the resource kit.



Championing Choice and Safety: A Womxn’s World in Three Parts

We are pleased to share tickets are available now for Options for Sexual Health and Battered Women Support Services presentation and world premiere of ‘Her Story (In Three Parts) by Camille Hollett-French.

Join us on International Women’s Day, March 8 2019, at the Djavad Mofwfaghian Theatre at 7PM for screenings and dialogue panels moderated by journalist Charmaine De Silva.

Following the screenings an after party meet-and-greet with the cast will take place starting at 9:30PM (additional purchase); further details coming soon.

Each of the films explore issues of abortion, incarceration and sexual violence through the eyes of three young women in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal -view the powerful trailers below.

A Simple Act

Hush Little Baby

In the Absence of Angels


To become a ticket sponsor, email communityengagement@bwss.org



February 14 Women’s Memorial Marches: Not forgetting the legacy and honouring through action

This year at the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), we continue to participate in February 14 Women’s Memorial March events to remember and honor missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTTQQIA), gender non-conforming people and their families. At NYSHN we march, gather and ceremony together in spirit with one and other; remembering and honoring ancestors and generations to come. Despite the stereotype from mainstream media outlets of Indigenous women and communities being “victims only”; Women’s Memorial Marches are a concrete example of what we have been doing and continue to do about stopping and preventing violence. Coming together in this way is symbolic of us not standing for the loss of family and friends without action and responding together across our different nations. Read more here.

From Juarez to Vancouver: Why I march on February 14

I joined the February 14th Women’s Memorial March in Downtown Eastside Vancouver in 1998. At the time, I had just immigrated to Canada. I came escaping from injustice and looking for a safe place to live for me and my family. However, sooner than later, I learned about the real Canadian history and it was very different to the official story that I had been told. I learned about the impact of colonization on the Indigenous people of this land. I witnessed and experienced racism and discrimination. I realized that the history of colonization and its impacts on Indigenous people in Latin America was similar to the impact on Indigenous people in Canada. Read more here.

Evoking Presence through Their Absence

Evoking presence through their absence is the intention of The REDress Project which is an aesthetic response to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women started in Winnipeg, Manitoba by Métis artist Jaime Black.

Last night, February 12th, at our support group at Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, women reflected on impact of gender violence on themselves and the community and created these Red Dresses.  These artistic designs are also made in preparation for February 14th Women’s Memorial March happening tomorrow on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.


We March On…

I believe my first February 14th Women’s Memorial March was in 1997 in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. I was the support worker at PACE Society at the time and I was asked to say a few words. This was a great honour.

During the March we would customarily stop at the steps of the old Vancouver Police Station to listen and to share inspirational speeches and calls to action from women’s organizations. I remember how the community — a diverse grouping of Elders, family members, residents and community workers — claimed the Hastings and Main intersection. Medicines of sage and sweet grass enveloped us as we lifted each other to the spirit. Some years, we would look to the sky and see the eagles circling. For all of us, this was confirmation that we were joined on a righteous path. As we marched, onlookers joined us, people waved from buildings, and the women’s warrior song came sweetly out of our throats. We marched on, strong.

Read full blog by Raven here.