AWARE Achieving and Maintaining Employment Workshop Series

Battered Women’s Support Services, Advancing Women’s Awareness Program Online Workshop Series:

Life skills and the job search process

Is a 10-week group based training, starting at Thursday May 6th from 10:30am –11:30am. All of the workshop details are in the poster attached. Please distribute the poster amongst your contacts. All self-identified women are welcome.

Topics covered in the workshops include:

Transition and Coping with Change

The Impact of Abuse

Employment and Assertiveness

Communication and Boundaries

Conflict Resolution, among others

For more information and/or to register please email Claudia, [email protected]

 

Black Out! 2021

Black Out! is a monthly meet-up
Black Out! is an evening out for Black Women with Black Experiences
Black Out! is time in a safe space where you are the norm and not the other
Black Out! Is an opportunity for affirmation and authenticity

Let’s come together to celebrate and commiserate
Allow the music and mood to create movement in your soul
Black Out! is whatever we want it to be!! Because we create it together!!

Join us every Thursday evening from 6:00 8:00 pm via zoom, starting February 18, 2021

Contact [email protected] for more information

Anti-violence Organization Takes the Streets to Help Bring Safety to Victims of Gender-based Violence in Vancouver

For immediate release: May 6, 2021

Vancouver, BC –Safety Changes Everything outreach program, created and implemented by Battered Women’s Support Services, starts today in four neighborhoods in Vancouver.

The outreach program is a direct response to the intersections of COVID-19, the opioid crisis, and the increasing levels of violence against women and girls in our community. Covering the regions of Vancouver Downtown Eastside, Commercial Drive, Kingsway and the Granville Strip area, the outreach program operates outside of service hours as a resource to help increase women’s safety.

“Our outreach program will be responding to the girls and women who are facing the intersecting challenges and impacts of the increase levels of gender violence that they experience at home and on the streets, as well as we will be responding to the hardship that COVID 19 pandemic has brought together with an ongoing opioid crisis. During these difficult times it is key that we reach out to those who are at risk and in need of our support”, says Rosa Elena Arteaga, Director of Direct Services and Clinical Practice at BWSS.

The work of the outreach team involves being visible in the community; walking on the streets connecting with women and girls to help building or strengthening relationships with the organizations already assisting women and girls in the community. Key focus is to identify the gaps particularly around women’s safety and responding to violence against women and girls in the community. Most importantly, the outreach team provides immediate crisis response to instances of violence against women to provide, emotional support, connecting to resources, advocacy, accompaniment to police, the hospital or medical services.

“Central City Foundation is grateful and honored to be a part of this incredibly needed community-led initiative in response to the alarming increase in gender-based and sexualized violence against women across our inner-city community”, says Jennifer Johnstone, President and CEO of Central City Foundation. “Our funding of this program is illustrative of our commitment to support community-focused and community-led solutions that will foster a resilient, caring and inclusive community where it is possible for all people to overcome injustice, participate and thrive.” This program fills a vital gap in resources as currently there is not an anti-violence organization providing streetbased outreach to women and girls in these communities who have experienced domestic or sexualized violence.

Media contact:
Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, BWSS – 604-808-0507
About Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS)
Established in 1979, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is on the front-line in the effort to end gender violence, including domestic and sexual violence. Every day, the BWSS team takes action through the delivery of direct services, training, legal, institutional and systemic advocacy and social enterprise
responding to over 18,000 requests for service annually – with COVID-19 requests have increased to over 30,000. Forty-one years later and BWSS continues as a committed member of the decolonizing and antioppression feminist movement emphasizing the necessity of community-based approaches and interventions into what are some of the most pressing social problems of our time. For more information: www.bwss.org

Celebrate mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers with BWSS

For many, the month of May is a month to honour mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers. Mother’s Day hits a bit different this year and it is an opportunity to make a powerful difference in the lives of mothers who experience gender-based violence.

The pandemic has a devastating impact on mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers who access BWSS.
 
Through our crisis line and frontline work, mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers tell us how they have experienced job loss, how their household responsibilities have increased, and the challenges they face due to poverty and discrimination such as racism and precarious housing and/or immigration status. For many mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers, who are working in the care sector and have been at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission.
 
Also, mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers have faced difficult family law legal proceedings without the benefit of legal counsel.  

Our work at BWSS continues to be helping to alleviate isolation, providing emotional support, answering questions and sharing vital information, advocating for housing, legal and employment justice.
 
This Mother’s Day, please join us in honouring mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers by posting a message of appreciation in the comments section below.

  • Post a message of appreciation in the comment section below.
  • Buy a gift with social purpose through My Sister’s Closet online store. Revenue generated goes directly to support services for survivors.
  • Enter to win a $500 to shop with Mom, Grandmothers, or Caregiver in our Mother’s Day Giveaway post on My Sister’s Closet Instagram page and follow the instructions to enter.
  • Make a donation to BWSS and help us end gender-based violence.

News Release 2021 Federal and Provincial Budgets Revealed Amid the Third Wave of COVID-19

Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange

2021 Federal and Provincial Budgets Revealed Amid the Third Wave of COVID-19

For immediate release: April 20, 2021

Vancouver, BC –The budget takes important steps towards addressing gender based violence. The pandemic has exposed and amplified long-standing inequities, disproportionately impacting women and people of marginalized genders. We are hopeful that the 2021 federal budget will help those most vulnerable in our communities, as BWSS continues to work on the frontline to end gender-based violence.

“We recognize that economic recovery requires addressing systemic inequities and gender-based violence from a feminist, intersectional perspective”, said Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director at BWSS, “And we have called for action to support Black, racialized and Indigenous women and people marginalized by their gender who face oppression in different forms”.

$600 million anti-violence initiatives through the National Action Plan -$400 million earmarked for gender-based violence organizations, which BWSS called for through our work with Women’s Shelters Canada.

This includes:

  • $55 million for anti-violence programs for Indigenous people and LGBTQ2S
  • $30 million for crisis lines
  • $2 million for anti-violence programs for immigrant and refugee women
  • $85 million for legal advice and representation for victims of sexual assault
  • $11 million for better disaggregated data for research projects
  • $14 million for a National Action Plan Secretariat

Budget 2021 proposes to invest an additional $2.2 billion over five years to address the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murder of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. With the release of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls almost two year ago in June 2019, Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people continue to go missing and/or be murdered. Immediate action and implementation of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls needs to be made.

The 2021 budget also pledges $30 billion over 5 years for affordable child care. Locally, the BC Child Coalition has been hard at work, advocating for affordable child care. It’s encouraging to see their success on this front, with the goal of $10 a day child care becoming a reality by 2026. For women who access BWSS services and programs, lack of access to affordable child care is one of the main factors that traps women in abusive relationships.

$250 million to create 560 spaces in shelters and transitional houses -up to 43 new spaces in each province and territory. This investment is so important for women and their children’s safety when feeling violence.

$45 million to fund community-based organizations that help make sexual and reproductive health care information and services more accessible for vulnerable populations; dedicated funding to support better data collection on sexual and reproductive health.

Announced today, BC 2021 budget leaves much to be desired when it comes to gender based violence and gender equity for the province. This budget being released in the third wave of the pandemic is a reminder of how important it was to see the current government’s commitment to gender equity and ending gender based violence.

“BWSS has seen a drastic spike in requests for services during the pandemic”, says Rosa Elena Arteaga, Director of Direct Services and Clinical Practice at BWSS. “We know that this pandemic has further isolated and put women in danger through stay at home orders and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID 19. It was our hope that this years’ BC budget would address these issues that impede women’s safety and equity in BC”.

We applaud the attention the government has finally paid to address women and people of marginalized safety in rural regions with the commitment of $4.5 million to improve cellular service on Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George. “This will help make the highway safer for many Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people”, says Summer-Rain, Manager of the Indigenous Women’s Program at BWSS, “However, it is disappointing that there is not a stronger focus in the budget supporting Indigenous women and human rights”

There has also been a pledge to support women, single parents, refugees, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S and people with low incomes with access to legal systems by committing $132 million for equitable access to justice. However, we note that it is unclear how the investment will particularly support women who are self-representing in family law situations.

Unlike the strong commitment towards affordable childcare in the Federal budget, the province has allocated $233 million over three years towards childcare, less than the $250 million they committed to at election time.

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Media contact:

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, BWSS – 604-808-0507

About Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS)

Established in 1979, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is on the front-line in the effort to end gender violence, including domestic and sexual violence. Every day, the BWSS team takes action through the delivery of direct services, training, legal, institutional and systemic advocacy and social enterprise responding to over 18,000 requests for service annually – with COVID-19 requests have increased to over 30,000. Forty-one years later and BWSS continues as a committed member of the decolonizing and anti-oppression feminist movement emphasizing the necessity of community-based approaches and interventions into what are some of the most pressing social problems of our time. For more information: www.bwss.org

Download the news release here.