Black Women’s Program September 2018 Workshops

I am Beautiful
I am Powerful
I am Magical
I am Female
I am Black
I am who I say I am, not who they tell me I am.


Black woman as a matter of course, have been a told 1,001 ways what we are NOT.

We are not special, we are not valuable, we are not beautiful, we are not feminine, we are not soft, we are not the ideal and therefore we can’t…have.

We can’t have our Happiness; as we are expected to spend our lives in “the struggle” We can’t have our Identity; as it is exploited by others

We can’t have our stories; as they are written by a society that says we are not.

We would it mean if we not only told our stories, but lived them too? If we were the full recipients of our own strength, and power? If we delighted in our own efforts? If we used our magic for us, and not felt compelled to freely offer it up to a world that will take it happily and then deny where it came from?

BWSS Black Women’s program in hosting a Fall Series Workshop for the month of September titled:  “I’m a Black Girl, and my Magic is for ME!

We will come together in a safe space for Black Women to discuss the dynamics of Identity; and the Beautiful, Powerful, Magical gifts that we received as a generational inheritance. We will provide mutual support, tell our truths, and gain skills for empowerment and self-representation.

September 2018 Workshop Dates and Time: Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm

September 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th

Location: My Sister’s Closet, 1092 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Call 604-687-1868 or email for more information

September 2018 Workshops in the BWSS Black Women's Program

Expressive Arts Group

Battered Women’s Support Services is offering an Expressive Arts Therapy group for women who have experienced gender violence.  Expressive Arts Therapy uses different modalities such as writing, visual art, movement, and  music to provide a space for women to connect with their inner world and imagination.

Expressive Arts can be such powerful resource for healing and self-expression. This group is facilitated from trauma informed lens and an intersectional understanding to support survivors of gender violence.

What to Expect

In expressive arts therapy, you use multiple senses to explore your inner and outer world through the experience and creation of different art forms. The process of creation is emphasized rather than a final product. The healing comes from the play and immersion into the imagination to create the art.  Since the therapeutic work is based on the creative process, not on the final result, it is not necessary to have a background or training in the arts to benefit from expressive arts therapy. Throughout the process, you learn new and different ways to use the mostly nonverbal language of creativity to communicate inner feelings that were not previously available to you by simply thinking or talking about them.

When: Starting September 10, 2018. Every Monday from 1pm to 3:30 p.m.
Main facilitator Jotika Chaudhary and co-facilitator Rosa Elena Arteaga
To register please call BWSS Intake and Crisis Line 6046871867.
Art material and bus tickets for transportation will be provided.

Trauma sensitive yoga

Gender Violence is Trauma, Yoga is a path to healing

Gender Violence is Trauma, Yoga is Path for Healing.

Trauma can create an emotional and physical imprint on the body.

Trauma researchers have demonstrated that those who are affected by gender violence often separate themselves from their bodies and feelings.  Yoga can significantly reduce the effects of Trauma–extensive research on the effects of mindfulness meditation through trauma sensitive yoga has been proven to positively influence trauma.

Trauma sensitive yoga invites participants to notice and feel sensations within their body throughout the practice and they are encouraged to make their own choices about what they do and how they move with their body based on what they feel. Safety is created in several ways for women, one being that there is no physical assisting provided by instructors.

The Trauma Sensitive and Mindfulness support group will help women find healing, health, and knowledge for self-practice and connection to the larger yoga community.

A new Saturday Trauma Sensitive Yoga Group will begin in August.

Every Saturday morning from 11:00am to 12:30pm. The group runs from August 11th to October 20th, 2018.

For more information on the trauma-informed yoga support groups at BWSS call 604-687-1867.

BWSS is Offering Counselling and Crisis Support Services During and Beyond the #MMIWG Inquiry

BWSS is offering counselling and crisis support services during and beyond the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry hearing scheduled for Vancouver on April 3rd to 8th 2018  at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, 7551 Westminster Highway in Richmond.

Counselling and crisis support is available for survivors and families while participating at the inquiry including during statement taking and or giving testimony.

After inquiry support services are available.

All counselling and crisis support is individual and group and is trauma informed and centered in informed cultural practices.

For more information and to contact our team call 604-652-1867

BWSS will hold two days of statement taking at our confidential location in April. Information to follow or call 604-652-1867.


Over 80% of women who access BWSS need this support service…

BWSS Legal Advocacy Workshops

Over 80% of women accessing Battered Women’s Support Services identify at least one legal issue where they require information. For 15 years, BWSS has been providing legal advocacy workshops for women who have or are experiencing violence in their relationships and require legal support with the resulting family law and other legal issues. Beginning on April 4, 2018 until June 6, 2018, BWSS hosts Legal Advocacy Workshops every Wednesday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Lawyers with experience on a range of topics will facilitate all workshops with BWSS Manager of Legal Services and Advocacy Program. Women may bring forms or relevant paperwork to the workshop for self reference. To register or for more information please call 604-687-1867 or visit Click Law for information about the workshops and legal resources.

Thank you to our friends at Click Law for choosing BWSS as Organization of the Month for March 2018 and featuring our Legal Services and Advocacy Program. Visit Click Law for more information about our Legal Workshops and Resources.

BWSS welcomes Aditi Master to the Legal Services and Advocacy team at as Staff Lawyer. Aditi was called to the Bar in BC in 2009 and also holds a Master of Public Health from the University of British Columbia. She has worked and volunteered at the grassroots level in multidisciplinary fields for two decades. She believes in equality and achieving equity for all.

Aditi joins Harshada Deshpande, Manager of Legal Services and Advocacy Program, and four legal interns, Archana, Michelle, Mayra and Talia.


 Opportunity for Legal Internship


The Legal Services and Advocacy Program has opportunities for self-identified women law students to complete a volunteer-based legal internship at BWSS. The responsibilities of the legal interns includes interviewing women, assessing and analyzing legal problems, assisting in resolving legal problems, assisting women to prepare for court, preparing documents and providing court accompaniments. Legal interns are supervised by the BWSS Staff Lawyer. Legal interns must either be enrolled in a law school or have received their law degree. Additional training is provided to legal interns to become aware of the anti-oppression feminist analysis of violence against women, to have a basic understanding of family and immigration and refugee law, to manage and conduct research on files, work within the Legal Services and Advocacy Program, and to familiarize themselves with the overall internal practices and procedures at BWSS.

Legal interns are required to commit for a minimum of four hours per week for a minimum of four months. This commitment does not apply in the months of December, April or August if legal interns are enrolled in law school and have exams during the specified months. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Please contact Harshada Deshpande, Manager of the Legal Services and Advocacy Program, for more information.

Thank you!

We are grateful for our funding partner The Law Foundation and generous donors like you who help make the BWSS Legal Services and Advocacy Program possible.

Legal Services and Advocacy Program at Battered Women’s Support Services

Legal systems are complex and justice can be elusive for women. The Legal Services and Advocacy Program at Battered Women’s Support Services helps support women through the legal process.

  • The Legal Services and Advocacy Program (LAP) at BWSS provides support, advocacy, information and accompaniment to women who have experienced violence and who are involved in the legal system.
  • LAP provides legal information, research, advocacy and support for battered women in family, child protection, immigration, criminal, civil, and poverty law matters.
  • LAP provides legal information and support over the telephone or in person
  • LAP provides legal workshops and pro-bono legal info sessions for women
  • LAP provides legal representation to women who have multiple barriers and have been denied by Legal Services Society for legal representation

For more information about Legal Services and Advocacy Program at Battered Women’s Support Services call 604-687-1867

The Legal Services and Advocacy Program at Battered Women’s Support Services is funded by The Law Foundation of British Columbia and My Sister’s Closet – social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services

Download the poster here

Legal Advocacy