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. 

Online Resource Goes Live to Help End Gender Based Violence

Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange

First of Its Kind in B.C., Online Resource Goes Live to Help End Gender Based Violence

Press release

For immediate release: April 14, 2021

Vancouver, BC – For Prevention of Violence against Women week, April 11 to 17, 2021, a gender-equity provincial advisory group launches, the Learning and Knowledge Exchange online resource platform. Inspired by a similar Ontario-based resource, virtual hub mobilizes community-based experiences and evidence-informed resources to advance gender equity by ending gender-based violence. The website will feature webinars, curricula, research and resources to promote British Columbia-based networks directly supporting programs, operations and systemic advocacy of the ending gender-based violence sector and its allies.

“The BC Society of Transition Houses and its membership is honoured to be part of the BWSS Gender Equity Learning & Knowledge Exchange to support the growth of this dynamic inter-disciplinary intersectional resource for BC to prevent and end gender based violence for all.” Said Amy S. FitzGerald, Executive Director, BC Society of Transition Houses.

“The Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange will connect practitioners, in any field or discipline, with each other to discuss their work, learn from one another.” said Angela Marie MacDougall executive director Battered Women’s Support Services. “The key ingredient in this innovation is experiential knowledge by centring the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of colour who affected by gender inequity and gender-based violence.”

“As a lifelong social justice advocate for Indigenous people, I believe we need strengthen our supports, knowledge, and action by and for Indigenous women and girls” Said Leslie Varley, Executive Director, BC Association Aboriginal Friendship Centres “I’m looking forward to joining this amazing group of people to share, learn, collaborate and grow together.”

The provincial advisory committee will provide expertise on research, curriculum development, practice, and prevention and help convene knowledge keepers and assist in disseminating knowledge derived. Hosted by Battered Women’s Support Services, the provincial advisory group includes representatives from BC Society of Transition Houses; BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres; West Coast LEAF; Rise Women’s Legal Centre; Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour; BC Refugee Hub and Newcomer Info; Qmunity; and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

“This project is important to me because, as a Two-Spirited & queer person, I am excited to see more grounded representation and understanding of two-spirited identities.” Said Songbird, Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. “I am proud to play a role in helping the community understand the cultural importance and roles of our two-spirited peoples.”

“Gender equity is a collective responsibility and requires commitment from everyone to make impactful change” Said Bahar Taheri, Project Consultant, BC Refugee Hub.

“I raise my hands to BWSS for stewarding the Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange. This initiative will ensure community members have open access to information that is relevant and useful to them!” said Nancy Laliberte, PhD

“I am so excited to been able to access specialized information and knowledge through the BWSS Gender Equity Learning & Knowledge Exchange.” Said Rosa Elena Arteaga, Director Clinical Practice at BWSS. “This is a one of a kind resource for the anti-violence community, academics, researchers, and everyone who wants to learn more about gender equity ”

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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

More Information:
The Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange https://genderequitylke.org/
The Learning and Knowledge Exchanges https://genderequitylke.org/learning-knowledge-exchanges/
Projects Underway https://genderequitylke.org/our-work-end-violence/#projects

The Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange is possible because of the financial support from the Vancouver Foundation and My Sister’s Closet – social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services.

Gender Equity Learning and Knowledge Exchange

BWSS creates interactive TSA to simulate the experience of being trapped in an abusive relationship.

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Battered Women’s Support Services creates interactive TSA to simulate the experience of being trapped in an abusive relationship.

WHAT:  Battered Women’s Support Services has built an interactive Transit Shelter Advertisement that allows the public to step into the shoes of a woman experiencing violence by their intimate partner. What appears at first glance to be a nondescript apartment door is actually a digital peephole into the frightening world of domestic abuse.

The public one-day stunt is part of their 2018 campaign launching for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. The campaign hopes to raise awareness of BWSS services and encourage the public to donate and take action to end violence against women and girls. Every year more than 30,000 women and children are affected by intimate partner violence in British Columbia, with one woman killed every week in Canada.

WHEN: November 2, 2018. Availability to film the event and interviews from 12-1pm.

WHERE: Transit shelter at Lonsdale Avenue and 27th Street East, North Vancouver V7N 3J1

WHO: Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, Battered Women’s Support Services

DETAIL:  Media are invited to experience the interactive TSA. Interviews with Angela Marie MacDougall will follow.

ABOUT:  Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is a Canadian not-for-profit located in Vancouver that    provides education, advocacy and support services to assist all women in its aim to work towards the elimination of violence.

Please confirm your attendance by contacting
Rona Amiri, Violence Prevention Coordinator
[email protected], 778-558-7179

 

Safety Resource Card: Connecting Survivors of Violence to Support

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release
July 26, 2018

Connecting Survivors of Violence to Support

An updated, comprehensive, and easy to understand guide to finding help for survivors of violence.

Vancouver, B.C. —Since its initial launch in March 2006, tens of thousands of copies of The Safety Resource Card have been shared throughout Metro Vancouver. The first of its kind, the Safety Resource Card contains dozens of useful phone numbers.

Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) is pleased to announce the update of the card, to include updated phone numbers and information including the updated operating hours of BWSS, now including Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. The card also includes other emergency/crisis numbers, transition house numbers and specific support services in the Downtown Eastside.

Fifty percent of women in Canada have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. On average, a woman is murdered by her intimate partner every week in Canada.

“Gender-based violence in all forms — sexual harassment, sexual violence, physical abuse and femicide is truly an epidemic in Canada –there is no time to waste”, says BWSS Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall “The Safety Resource Card provides survivors of violence with direct contact to essential services in Metro Vancouver, including BWSS, that can be life-saving”.

The Safety Resource Card folds up to the size of a business card so that women using the card may do so discretely and without fear of its being discovered by an abusive partner.

The Safety Resource Cards are available to the community and those interested in obtaining the free card please call 778-558-7179 or email [email protected]

For almost 40 years, Battered Women’s Support Services has worked towards women’s liberation through education, advocacy, support services, and systemic and social change to assist all women in its aim to work towards the elimination of violence.

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Media enquiries:
Angela Marie MacDougall, Battered Women’s Support Services
Executive Director
Cell:  604-808-0507
Email:  [email protected]

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

FOR IMMEDIATE 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

Email: [email protected]

www.bwss.org

 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).

https://www.facebook.com/TheViolenceStopsHere/

Twitter: @EndingViolence

Instagram: @EndingViolence

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Media enquiries

Angela Marie MacDougall

Executive Director

BWSS

[email protected]

604-808-0507