How to support Non-Status, Immigrant, Refugee, and Refugee claimants facing Intimate Partner, Domestic or Sexualized Violence

These trainings and resources are designed to teach front-line workers on how to complete safety assessments and create safety plans for survivors facing violence.
Supporting Migrant Workers Experiencing Domestic Violence

Recorded on November 16, 2021

Domestic violence is prevalent in all communities and COVID-19 has amplified the incidence of such abuses. With quarantine restrictions, precarious employment, and fewer supports available due to the pandemic, domestic abuses have been on the rise. Migrant workers face additional vulnerabilities in accessing supports due to lack of knowledge or availability of service, understanding of the law, language barriers and the cultural differences that may dictate their course of action in such abuses. Addressing the prevalence, impact, and best practices in responding to domestic violence can attribute to better support for migrant workers.

In this webinar, Rosa Elena Arteaga from Battered Women Support Services (BWSS), and Kyla Fair from Highline Mushrooms, examined the following:

  • Key terms and concepts of domestic violence including forms of domestic violence, risk factors and abusive relationship cycles;
  • Impacts and risk factors of domestic violence on migrant workers;

  • Strategies for responding to domestic violence for migrant workers; and

  • Offering support services including action plans, resources, and referrals

How to Support Refugees and Refugee Claimants Facing Domestic Violence

Part One — Recorded on February 11, 2019

In February 2019,  BWSS presented “How to support refugees and refugee claimants who are facing domestic violence” Rosa Elena Arteaga, BWSS Director of Clinical Practice and Direct Services during a provincial conference hosted by Immigrant Services Society of BC, and The BC Refugee Hub.


  • Introduction to Domestic Violence
  • Domestic Violence in Refugee Communities
  • Key Issues and Challenges
  • How to Support Individuals Facing Domestic Violence
  • Supports and Resources for Refugees and Refugee Claimants Experiencing Domestic Violence

Webinar materials:

How to Support Refugees and Refugee Claimants Facing Domestic Violence

Part Two — Recorded on November 26, 2019

For Part two, Rosa Elena returned to provide more in-depth training and BWSS in collaboration with the BC Refugee Hub we launched the new Safety Assessment and Safety Planning Tool developed in partnership by Rosa Elena Arteaga (BWSS) and Bahar Taheri (Project Consultant, BC Refugee Hub). This training webinar is for front-line workers on how to use the new tools to complete safety assessments and create safety plans for survivors facing domestic violence.

Webinar materials:

Immigration policy does not recognize the spectrum of violence against women

Recorded on June 5, 2014

Through this presentation Rosa Elena Arteaga addresses the urgent need for a systemic response to violence against Non-Status, Refugee, Immigrant women and women with precarious immigration status as these communities are being impacted by the current immigration policy and practices in Canada. More than ever women and their families are being displaced all over the world. Consequently, through our work with these communities we have witnessed a sexist, racist and classist immigration system and systemic practices that limit women’s access to safety and freedom. We see an Immigration system that is Gender bias in criteria and in its rules that determine eligibility to immigrate and to stay in Canada. As well as we have witnessed how this criteria does not acknowledge the spiral of gendered violence, where women are faced with discrimination and gendered violence from the moment they are born and throughout their lives.

View the full video recording of the training below

Jane’s journey towards freedom.

By Rosa Elena Arteaga, BWSS Manager, Direct Services and Clinical Practice

When leaving an abusive partner will not make a woman free from his abuse.

This is a real story and it started 12 years ago. Today I am sharing it because I was Jane’s support worker. I accompanied her in her struggle for over ten years. I have asked Jane for her consent to tell her story and she agreed. However, I have changed the names of her and her daughter in order to ensure their safety.

Download and read Jane’s story here.