Women with abusive partners will often face serious threats to their financial well-being and barriers to realizing their personal financial capability. Economic abuse often occurs alongside other forms of abuse and is commonly part of a pattern of behaviour through which abusive partners seek power and control. A woman may not be allowed to work, or if she is working, her money is taken from her right away. Economic abuse is a form of abuse that can be especially difficult during this time as many families are experiencing financial stress due to layoffs during COVID-19.

Job search during this time may seem challenging, pointless, and discouraging. Yet, can be a time for economic empowerment strategies. It is a time to prepare to look for work, learn new strategies and adapt to new technologies such as professional networking online, preparing for video interviews, and learning how to work remotely. It’s also an opportunity to identify employment and life goals and work on planning next steps to achieve them, which can include connecting with AWARE, employment program here at BWSS.

Through AWARE, you—as a job seeker—can access a full suite of free virtual, telephone, and online supports now.

The AWARE team offers one-on-one help in navigating and accessing government, community, and peer supports as well as offering workshops on relevant topics that will set you up for success.

Our employment counsellors, Claudia Maldonado and Stephanie Tsokas, are currently offering vital employment services through phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

AWARE services include:

  • Employment counselling and support
  • Career exploration, development and planning/career change
  • Employment readiness workshops (1:1 or group) – including The Impacts of Violence and Abuse, Self-Awareness, Resilience and Coping with Change, Setting Boundaries: Communication and Assertiveness
  • Employment support services workshops (1:1 or group) – including resume, cover letter, interview skills, new trends in job search
  • Essential work skills workshops (1:1 or group) – including computer skills
  • Skills enhancement training services (depending on eligibility)
  • Job search support – including applications and interview preparation
  • Job sustainment services
  • Self-employment services (depending on eligibility)
  • Personal counselling
  • Assistance to apply for eligible benefits
  • Assistance to apply for child care support
  • Assistance to apply for volunteer work
  • Work experience placements

Connect with us today

If you or anyone you know is seeking employment services or supports, contact us by email claudia@bwss.org or phone 778-628-1867.

Upcoming workshops for AWARE participants:
  • Thursday,  September 24:
    • Interviews
    • Self-Marketing & Networking
  • Thursday, October 1
    • Rights and Responsibilities in the Workplace
    • Conflict Management
  • Thursday, October 8
    • Accepting, Starting and Maintaining Employment

If you are a victim or survivor of gender-based violence and are interested in participating in AWARE, please contact claudia@bwss.org or phone 778-628-1867.

Economic Abuse and Violence Against Women – How Battered Women’s Support Services Takes Action

External information that may be helpful to you

The following information and resources are support services for women, including job search, employment, and benefits available for individuals through the federal and provincial governments:

All clean hands on deck during COVID19: Services available across BC from Feminists Deliver partner organizations

COVID-19 Restrictions & Closures

Job searching during a pandemic

Job seeking during a pandemic

Who’s hiring in Canada?

90+ companies currently hiring in Canada amid coronavirus pandemic | Venture


What to do if you’re laid off because of the coronavirus

Government of Canada 

COVID-19 Spring 2020 notices

Information for Individuals:

Includes information on:

  • Employment Insurance (recommended to apply online, limited resources at Service Canada Offices)
  • Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits (Available in April – no date specified)
  • Canada Child Benefit (Available with May CCB only)
  • Canada Student Loans
  • Passport Services
  • SIN

In your workplace:

Includes information on:

  • Employment Insurance – Record of Employment (ROE)
  • Work-sharing program
  • Labour program and federally regulated workplaces

COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information

Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19

British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19

This site covers resources for:

  • Orders and notices
  • Online symptom checker
  • Child care
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Businesses
  • Housing and tenancy updates
  • Transportation updates (ICBC, Transit, Translink)
  • Travel and tourism
  • Mental health
  • Being prepared
  • MSP updates

Taking a Leave Related to COVID-19

For simple questions, text 1-604-660-2421.
For complex questions, call 1-800-663-7867.
TDD – 711 (across BC)
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca

Student Aid BC

Phone: 1-800-561-1818
Mailing Address:
StudentAid BC
PO Box 9173 Victoria BC V8W 9H7

Province boosts emergency funding supports for students