International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) commemorates International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, today, August 9, 2018.

The theme set by the UN this year is, Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement “as a result of loss of their lands, territories and resources due to development and other pressures, many Indigenous peoples migrate to urban areas in search of better prospects of life, education and employment. They also migrate between countries to escape conflict, persecution and climate change impacts”.

After a decade opposing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Canada finally announced that it now supports UNDRIP.  It is not enough for Canada to say they support UNDRIP, there is a big gap between Canada’s constitutional requirements for the treatment of Indigenous people and the requirements of International law. When it comes to International law, it has to be implemented through Canadian laws which mean we have to legislate it into existence for it to be part of Canadian law.

Today, we urge the Canadian government to pass Bill C-262, an Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Should it become law, Bill C-262 would require a process for the review of federal laws, to ensure consistency with the standards set out in UNDRIP. It would also require the government to work with Indigenous peoples to develop a national action plan to implement the declaration. Also part of the requirements would be provisions for an annual reporting to parliament on the progress made toward implementation.

At BWSS, we know that Indigenous women, trans, and two spirit people are particularly vulnerable to violence because of historical and ongoing systemic sexism, racism, and trans/misogyny. Article 22 in Bill C-262 states that particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of Indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration and that States shall take measures, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples.

The passing of this Bill will help ensure that Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2*S peoples can live safely in our communities.

BWSS is asking for your support of Bill C-262 by writing to your MP today.

Electronic Art Tackles Sexual Assault & Harassment

CURRENT Symposium: Dream of a New Future brings together women and non-binary artists working in music and electronic art scene in Vancouver and beyond. This event is produced by local artists, Alexandra Chen, Ash Luk, Nancy Lee and Soledad Fatima Munoz.

Ultimately, producers of the event will create a report to share with the City of Vancouver with recommendations specifically on abuse of power in mixed media, and how to support survivors of gender-based violence, bridging the gap between cultural creators and the City. BWSS is thrilled to have been invited to be a part of this innovative event which creates space for women and non-binary artists to share their experiences, art and ideas.

The symposium takes place July 25th-29th in Vancouver and will feature music and art showcases as well as workshops, panels, and youth mentorships. Sunday, July 29th BWSS Violence Prevention Coordinator, Rona Amiri, joins Stacey Forrester from Good Night Out (GNO) for a panel to discuss prevention and support post “Me Too”.

Prevention of Violence against Women Week 2018

For thousands of women and their children across Canada there is no “Home Sweet Home”.

For Prevention of Violence against Women Week, April 15-21, 2018, Battered Women’s Support Services presents “Home Sweet Home”, a provocative video that poignantly confronts the public vs private experiences of gender violence.

Every week, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Five children in every Canadian school classroom have witnessed their mother’s abuse by either a father or father-figure.


At BWSS, we know, Safety Changes Everything.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this crucial work, this is your exclusive sneak peak of “Home Sweet Home” in advance of the national premiere.

BWSS Launches #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts for World Health Day 2018

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.

BWSS initiative #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts is designed to raise awareness of violence against women in intimate relationships, and provide resource kit to family physicians throughout B.C. to help doctors better identify and respond to women who may be experiencing violence in her intimate relationship. Because violence against women is a health issue.

Download the poster  


Download the Resource Kit for General Practitioners

Media Release


April 5, 2018

Launching World Health Day April 7, British Columbia’s family physicians join the fight against intimate partner violence

The #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts initiative provides family physicians with training and resources when women present with injuries and may be victims of violence

Vancouver, BC, April 5, 2018 – How do you ask your patient if she is experiencing violence from a partner or family member? If you’re a general practitioner in B.C., this is a tough question to ask, especially if you aren’t sure where you can direct your patient to go for help and support. On World Health Day, April 7, 2018, Battered Women’s Support Services is launching the #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts initiative, designed to raise awareness of violence against women in intimate relationships, and provide resources to family physicians throughout B.C.

The campaign includes an information and resource kit for general practitioners throughout B.C.. It’s designed to help practitioners better identify and respond to women who may be experiencing violence in her intimate relationship; and offer resources that are available to support women, including immediate safe places to go, crisis support, and ongoing counselling.

 “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,” says Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of Battered Women’s Support Services.

“#SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts is designed to bridge this gap and give 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,” states MacDougall.

The statistics about violence against women in intimate relationships in Canada and B.C. are staggering—and general practitioners are often the first person women disclose the violence to.

– Over 50% of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual violence.

– 40% of the women who have experienced intimate partner violence reported physical injuries, including bone fractures and internal injuries.

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

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

– But many women are afraid to tell anyone: only 21% of women reported intimate partner violence to a nurse or a doctor during their lifetime.

Family physicians are often the trusted, first-line responders for women presenting with injuries. Knowing how to identify when someone is experiencing intimate partner violence can save lives,” says Vancouver family physician Dr. Janet Ip. “Having a plan in place to ask the right questions, and the ability to connect women to real help and support can and should be a priority in everyone’s family practice.”

If you are seeking more information, are experiencing violence in an intimate relationship, or know someone who is, please contact:

Battered Women’s Support Services Crisis and Intake Line: 604 687 1867

Toll Free: 1 855 687 1867


 About Battered Women’s Support Services

Founded in 1979, Battered Women’s Support Services provides education, advocacy, support services to assist all women in its aim to work towards the elimination of violence, and to work from a feminist perspective that promotes equality for all women. BWSS responded to over 11,000 requests for services in 2016. BWSS’ services include a Crisis Line; Counselling; support groups; victim services; an Indigenous Women’s Program; a Black Women’s Program; a Latin American Women’s Program; legal advocacy and law reform; strategic interventions training; social enterprise, My Sister’s Closet eco-thrift Boutique; violence prevention and intervention volunteer training; and Advancing Women’s Awareness Regarding Employment program (AWARE).

Twitter: @EndingViolence

Instagram: @EndingViolence


Media enquiries

Angela Marie MacDougall

Executive Director



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.


BWSS Celebrates International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day 2018 to be commemorated in a year that saw women from all walks of life rise up in protests, power building and advocacy over issues of equality and harassment. BWSS is proud to be part of engaged communities working for change as we continue to #PressForProgress.


Women Power

Tonight we honour the over 150 people who volunteer at BWSS through our various programs and services.

Battered Women’s Support Services volunteers help us to:

  • Answer over 10,000 crisis calls annually
  • Facilitate one of a kind violence prevention workshops for youth
  • Enable women to access beautiful thrift clothing while generating funds for BWSS services and programs.
  • Provide culturally specific services for Indigenous women and girls
  • Support women through the criminal, family, Immigration and refugee legal systems
  • Answer our business line and administration support to our entire team
  • Help women with their economic livelihood sustainability through our employment program
  • Deliver Specialized Groups

None of the crucial work would be possible without our dedicated volunteers.

Each year BWSS celebrates these wonderful women during the week of International Women’s Day. Last night we celebrated 80 of our volunteers at Federico’s Supper Club.

We thank all the volunteers who play such an important role at BWSS and My Sister’s Closet, social enterprise of BWSS. Their passion strengthens our impact for girls, women and the community.


Fresh Face

BWSS Batteres Women's Support Services
Our website and blog has 20,000 visits daily and Thursday, March 8th BWSS to reveal our new look.  Change is good and we care about our online community and we have planned this website update to better meet the needs of the people who want to connect on the work to end violence against women.  Our website to include information, resources and ways to connect further in our shared vision of a world without violence against women.


BWSS Joins CBC BC Almanac

BC Almanac on CBC on March 8, 2018 at noon when our Executive Director, Angela Marie MacDougall joins a special International Women’s Day panel who will discuss the status of women in the 21st century. The hour long program includes an opportunity to call in.

International Women’s Gathering

Here’s a few images from Rosa Elena Arteaga, Manager of Direct Services and Clinical Practice and Daniela Escolar, Stopping the Violence Counsellor and Latina American Women’s Support Group Facilitator who are attending the gathering in Chiapas, Mexico…

“No more violence against women. No more violence against Indigenous women. They took them alive, alive we want them…state violence against women in Mexico…”


Here’s more about the gathering.


BWSS Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall to speak at TEDx ECUAD 2018
All over the world, people are coming together for TEDx talks given by exceptional individuals who have ideas or experiences that can affect change.

This year’s TEDxECUAD theme is “Equilibrium” which focuses on balance, inner peace and the dynamics of opposing forces coming together. In this polarizing time, it is imperative that we talk about how people can work together to bring about a more stable future. –TEDxECUAD

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director at Battered Women’s Support Services, is honored to have been asked to speak this year.

Angela’s point of view, working as an advocate, activist, and front-line worker in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory, since 1992 makes her speak unique, evoking thought, deeper understanding of the roots of violence in Canada, transformation and most importantly, action.

You won’t want to miss it! The event will take place Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 2PM at Emily Carr University with 7 speakers and two performances.


Get Tickets Today!