TOMORROW: two events

Announcing two short notice events that you may be interested in attending

Not Just Another Case: When Your Loved One has Gone Missing or Been Murdered.
Join Battered Women’s Support Services Indigenous Women’s Program for a film screening and discussion of “Not Just Another Case: When Your Loved One has Gone Missing or Been Murdered.”

Date and Time: Thursday, April 14 from 6-8pm
Location: 312 Main Street and online via zoom

This is a hybrid event, please email endingviolence@bwss.org for webinar link.

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS: Film Director Audrey Huntley in-person, advocate and interviewee Terri Monture via zoom, and staff with BWSS Indigenous Women’s Program.

“Not Just Another Case: When Your Loved One has Gone Missing or Been Murdered” is an important community video resource created for family and community members experiencing the loss of a loved one. This short film is the product of a collaboration between Toronto based No More Silence and Aboriginal Legal Services. The film is 29 minutes long and walks the audience through how to organize searches, deal with the police and the legal system.

Filmmaker, Audrey Huntley, conducted interviews across the country and created a web resource where all full length interviews can be viewed: https://aboriginallegal.ca/resources/missing-persons-resource-video Please be aware that the content is difficult as the interviewees share pain and grief. The web page also houses a guide to healing from traumatic grief by Métis doctor, Janet Smylie, director of the Well Living House.

Following the film, there will discussion and question and answer with:

Audrey Huntley is a paralegal, storyteller, and co-founder of No More Silence working with other Indigenous women, trans and two-spirit people. “Not Just Another Case: When Your Loved One Has Gone Missing or Been Murdered” was created to empower Indigenous community members and provide alternatives to the mainstream institutions that fail them.

Terri Monture (via zoom) is a Kanien’kehá:ka Wolf Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River. Terri is an advocate and interviewee in the film.

Battered Women’s Support Services Indigenous Women’s Program offers services run by Indigenous women for Indigenous women. The Indigenous Women’s Program’s currently offers support programs and groups at BWSS and in partnership with other organizations. We are healing from the trauma of colonization, the effects and inter-generational effects of residential school, the loss of our children, and living life in a patriarchal society. By using holistic practices through traditional medicines and ceremonies, we are reclaiming our rightful roles as strong Indigenous women in our community, finding our voices a stand strong in our power.

Find out more about our Indigenous Women’s Program here.

#Race And Femicide
#RaceAndFemicide will offer a conversation among organizers and leaders addressing gendered and racialized violence in our communities.
 

Date and time: Thu, April 14, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PDT

Location: Online event, register here

Women of color live at the crossroads of racial and gendered oppression, with dire consequences.

Join us for a conversation among organizers and leaders addressing gendered and racialized violence in our communities.

Our Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall will join the panel to talk about our work at Battered Women’s Support Services at the intersections of race and femicide in Canada. 

#RaceAndFemicide will ground us on the roots of femicide, as well as its present day manifestations. Participants will also explore steps we can take as a collective society to find transformative solutions that do not perpetuate violence and further criminalize people, but rather get to the root causes of femicide.

Register online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/raceand-femicide-tickets-310495569607

BWSS Annual General Meeting 2021

2021 BWSS Annual General Meeting

BWSS Annual General Meeting

When: Monday, December 6th, 2021
Call to order: 5:30p.m.
Where: Online via Zoom

Join us on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Members please email endingviolence@bwss.org to register. Once you’ve registered, you can expect us to send you a confidential meeting link via the email you’ve provided at registration.

 

Agenda:

  • Welcome and introduction: Cecilia Point
  • Approval of Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2020
  • Report from the Board of Directors
  • Report from Rosa Elena Arteaga and Angela Marie MacDougall
  • Audited Financial Statements: Jennifer Johnstone
  • Appointment of Auditor
  • Election of Directors

 

BWSS Board of Directors 2022:

  • Dawn Johnson
  • Cecilia Point
  • Erica Ifill
  • Jennifer Johnstone
  • Jennifer Mackie

 

While only current BWSS Society Members are eligible to vote at the AGM, a donation of any amount qualifies you to become a Society Member. To apply for society membership, please email endingviolence@bwss.org by Friday, December 3rd at 3pm. 

Two Events for the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-based Violence

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and our new multi-year Colour of Violence project, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is thrilled to invite you to two upcoming events and to participate in our survey centering racialized survivors.
Youth Survivors and Dating Violence: Let’s all Recognize the Signs
Event Nov 25th 

Youth Survivors and Dating Violence – Let’s all Recognize the Signs

To launch the international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, 2021, we are delighted to invite you to this event.

Eternity Martis is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author

This event features Eternity Martis – Eternity Martis is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author whose debut memoir, They Said This Would Be Fun, was a “Best Book of the Year” pick by Globe and Mail, Apple, Audible, and Chapters/Indigo. CBC called the book one of “20 moving Canadian memoirs to read right now” and PopSugar named it one of “5 Books About Race on College Campuses Every Student Should Read.” This year, They Said This Would Be Fun won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Non-Fiction.

Intimate partner violence in high school and on university campuses is an everyday occurrence—still, there is so little recognition of the prevalence and very little discussion about it.

Eternity Martis’ keynote will highlight the prevalence of dating violence, the experiences of young women, femmes, and non-binary people, and what high schools and universities can do to address it.

Also read this important thread by Eternity Martis for last year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:

Save the date and join Battered Women’s Support Services for a webinar
Event Dec 9th

Race, Gender, and Anti-Violence Services

We are thrilled to invite you to a powerhouse online discussion with Black, Indigenous, immigrant/refugee, and racialized women on race, gender and anti-violence services on December 9, 2021.

This event will feature speakers Audrey Huntley, Sarah Jama, Farrah Khan, Elene Lam, Kelendria Nation and Andrea Ritchie, with a territorial welcome by Cecilia Point and moderated by Angela Marie MacDougall and Leslie Varley.

More information and registration at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-colour-of-violence-gender-race-and-anti-violence-services-registration-208296007967

Survey Nov 1 – Dec 9th

Have you taken our brief, anonymous survey?

We recently launched a short, anonymous survey focusing on issues of accessibility, safety, and the structural barriers of anti-violence services in British Columbia for Black, Indigenous, immigrant/refugee, and women and gender-diverse survivors of colour.

This is a completely anonymous survey with no identifying information collected that will take less than 15 minutes to fill out with 11 questions. 

Anyone who does the survey can enter a draw for $50-gift certificates to My Sisters Closet.

 

We are seeking the participation of those who are:

  • Black, Indigenous, immigrant/refugee, racialized
  • Identify as a cisgender or transgender woman or femme, or as a gender diverse person
  • Live in BC
  • Are 19+

 

The survey can be completed in different ways between November 1 and December 9, 2021:

  1. Available online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWSSColourofViolence
  2. Hard copies of the survey will also be available at BWSS’s Vancouver office and at both My Sister’s Closet locations. These surveys can be returned in the labelled survey return boxes at the BWSS front desk and at both My Sister’s Closet locations.
  3. There are PDF’s available for download in English, Spanish, Punjabi, Tagalog, French, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Farsi at: https://www.bwss.org/colour-of-violence/. Completed PDF copies can be emailed to melody@bwss.org or call 604-616-7528 to arrange return.
Take the colour of violence survey to end Gender-based Violence

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 23. Reproductive Justice Reading

We’ve created a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms and values that underpin them. Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice for International Women’s Day (IWD).

Reproductive Justice Recommended Reading

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Day 23

Reproductive Rights are less than 30 years old and are more than just safe abortions.

The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda defines it as:

The human right to control our sexuality, our gender, our work, and our reproduction. That right can only be achieved when all women and girls have the complete economic, social, and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, our families, and our communities in all areas of our lives.

 

At the core of Reproductive Justice is the belief that all women have:
  1. the right to have children;
  2. the right to not have children and;
  3. the right to nurture the children we have in a safe and healthy environment. Read the full article here: Reproductive Justice: Beyond Safe Abortions
Reproductive Justice: recommended reading for International Women's Day

For the past decades, BWSS has been responding to calls for reproductive justice through public education and by supporting women, non-binary people, femmes and girls through different programs suitable for their unique situation. Our wrap-around services understand the intersections women, non-binary people, femmes and girls live within when faced with unjust legal systems; precarious immigration status; unsecure and unstable financial supports; no access to maternal health care; ableist laws; a society that thrives in white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy; and settler-colonial state violence.

BWSS services include:

  • Black, Indigenous, and Latin American Women’s programs
  • Thrive, a program that supports people involved in sex economies
  • AWARE, a program that leads women to financial empowerment
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ support
  • Counselling
  • Legal advocacy
  • And more

If you are experiencing abuse—whether it is mental, physical, sexual—please know that you have options.

When it is safe to do so:

  • Contact our free crisis line that is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week:
    • Call 604-687-1867 or 1-855-687-1868
    • Text 604-652-1867
    • Email intake@bwss.org
  • Contact Options for Sexual Health:
    • Call 604-731-4252
    • Call Sex Sense for questions about sex, sexuality, and other sexual health-related questions at 1-800-739-7367) or send them a message. Sex Sense is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Seven Women in British Columbia Killed Due to Femicide in the Past Seven Weeks

With the announcement of the killing of Ma Cecilia Loreto, who was found burned in Burnaby, so far in 2021, British Columbia has registered seven women and girls killed due to violence and according to media reports the majority involved a male accused. BC tied Quebec making beginning of 2021 the most deadly for women and girls than the same period in previous three years.

At the end of 2020, the United Nations called on all nation states and stakeholders worldwide to take urgent steps to prevent the pandemic of femicide or gender related killings of women and gender-based violence against women.

For the last decade, Battered Women’s Support Services has conducted an informal “femicide watch” assessing the trends and conditions for killings of women in British Columbia and other regions in Canada.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we scaled up our informal ‘femicide watch’ to analyze systemic shortcomings and to recommend measures for prevention and intervention.

There has been a statistical spike in femicide in 2021 in British Columbia and across Canada.

This should be awake up call for everyone.

According to a tweet by the Canadian Femicide Observatory so far in 2021, 47 women and girls killed by violence, 32 of which involve male accused, 13 in which no accused yet to be documented, but majority likely male. This is higher than same period in previous three years.

Society needs to do better for women, girls and people who are marginalized by their gender.

Seven Women in British Columbia Killed Due to Femicide in the Past Seven Weeks

Image via CTV.

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 22. The pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic 

We’ve created 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms and values that underpin them. Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice for International Women’s Day (IWD).

Increase awareness about the pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic 

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Day 23

Many women are at higher risk of sexual violence during the pandemic due to increased isolation and social marginalization.
  • Pandemic stressors such as unemployment, financial stress, and isolation can increase abusive partners’ attempts to control others through sexual violence.
  • Social distance and stay-at-home measures increases opportunities for online grooming and cybersexual violence.
  • Sexual exploitation of an individual’s financial strain may occur, such as demands for sex in lieu of rent or in exchange for food, other resources, or a safe place to stay.
  • Restrictions on visits and reduced number of staff in prisons or residential care settings like long-term care homes can put people at risk of sexual violence in this settings.
  • Alcohol or drugs – which some people use to cope with the impacts of the pandemic- can be exploited by others to facilitate sexual assault.
  • Social and physical distance has left many women and people of marginalized genders staying home in close proximity to their abusive partners.

 

Because of COVID-19 and experiences of violence, survivors of sexual violence face different barriers based on their individual circumstances and intersecting oppressions like racism, colonialism and classism: a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Reluctance to go to the hospital or access to other services due to fear of being asked about domestic violence experiences.
  • Difficulty finding private and safe times to reach out to support networks or seek help.
  • Separation of informal support like school, co-workers, or religious community.

 

Gender-based violence has increased during the pandemic and reporting and seeking help can be more challenging for survivors.

We’ve seen domestic violence spike since the beginning of the pandemic, but we are now also seeing an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence cases across Canada –most of them killed by an intimate partner or a relative living in the same household. COVID-19 has exacerbated domestic violence and left survivors with fewer options to seek help.

We need intersectional, systemic approaches and actions to support marginalized groups, including but not limited to those with disabilities, Black, Indigenous and racialized women; refugees, trans, LGBTQ2 people, and sex workers. Gender justice won’t be possible without making sure that marginalized groups have equal opportunities.

BWSS Crisis Line operates 24/7. If you or a loved one needs help, contact us:

604-687-1867 or toll free at 1-855-687-1868 

 

Increase awareness about the pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic