National Symposium on Intersections of Violence Against Women and Precarious Immigration Status

June 5, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario Canada

On June 5, 2014, the Migrant Mothers Project and Woman Abuse Council of Toronto will host a National Symposium to address how immigration policy changes are impacting immigrant women’s safety and rights and Battered Women’s Support Services is thrilled to be involved in this important event at this critical time.  The symposium brings together thought and practice leaders who work in immigration settlement, ending violence against women, immigration and refugee law and advocates for temporary foreign workers.

Battered Women’s Support Services is looking forward to collaborating again with Migrant Mothers Project to illuminate how forced migration is gendered and in that gendering exposes women to a broad spectrum of violence.  BWSS Rosa Elena Arteaga will present “Immigration Policy Does Not Recognize the Spectrum of Violence Against Women”.  And as she wrote last November in Women are continually forced to leave their land and migrate to a foreign country where they will be discriminated against based on their social location. Racialized and marginalized migrant women face the most oppressive and unsafe alternatives to flee from their countries and they, are not just simply allowed to enter Canada, they are screened and chosen based on the immigration laws and the policies implemented by the current governmental administration.

Once a migrant woman makes it into Canada, she might have been trafficked-or she might have come as a refugee claimant, through sponsorship, on visitor’s visa, under temporary work permit or undocumented, among other alternatives.  Her immigration status will play a huge role on the level of barriers and oppression that she will face as well as the services available to her. Many migrant girls and women will continue experiencing all forms of violence such as physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse from intimate partners, family members or extended family. The process of migration and a precarious immigration status makes girls and women more vulnerable to experience further violence, by the state, by employers, and within their relationships.

With this in mind, we, at Battered Women Support Services support migrant women with precarious immigration status, non-status, refugee claimants and permanent residents who have or are experiencing violence. We are strongly committed to understanding and recognizing that migrant women don’t “just come” to Canada, migrant women flee from their countries under extreme circumstances and with an immense need for support to overcome the impacts of gendered violence, the impact of migration and the complex process of adaptation.  We have taken many steps to ensure that we provide the appropriate support but also that we affect systemic change.

Here’s more about the National Symposium and Migrant Mother’s Project

For details go to:

Register at:

June 5th 2014 Symposium Poster Invitation Final-page-001

If you could do something to end violence against girls and women, wouldn’t you?