Advancing Women’s Awareness Regarding Employment

Moving women out of the cycle of trauma and violence through employment.

Advancing Women’s Awareness Regarding Employment (AWARE)

The AWARE program at BWSS helps women move out of the cycle of trauma and violence through employment.

Our office in Vancouver supports women to identify their skills, interests and to develop personal and career goals. AWARE helps women alleviate isolation, learn and grow together in a classroom setting. Importantly women will learn how to strengthen their own personal and community support network. AWARE is flexible and accessible. Women are often navigating many demands on their time and energy.

Our continuous intake process helps women find what she requires for her individual situation.


The AWARE Program Curricula contains the following components:

Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming the Impact of Abuse

Participants work on values, assertiveness, self-esteem, conflict resolution, safety planning and establishing and maintaining boundaries


Counselling and Coaching

All women who access AWARE are eligible to receive 10 hours of support group and individual counselling as part of their personal development goals. Counselling honours the way women cope with trauma and support establishment of new coping skills that build on each individual woman’s brilliance and resilience.


Academic Development

AWARE curricula includes basic computer skills, First Aid, Food Safe and Serving It Right.


Clothing and Accessories

AWARE Participants are eligible to access BWSS boutique My Sister’s Closet to obtain what they need for their job search and interviews. My Sister’s Closet staff and volunteers help women select an outfit and accessories and provide support for the upcoming interview.


Individual Exploration

Participants have the opportunity to develop short-term and long-term goals which includes defining action steps. Our dedicated staff support participants to focus their energies on their goals and participants find with each step they realize their goals and aspirations.


Career Exploration

Participants are able to assess their strengths, skills, previous experiences, learning styles, passions and interests. This includes resume building, job search skills including interviewing and cover letters.


Employment Skills

Through AWARE women have the opportunity to learn and practice essential workplace skills such as teamwork, verbal communications skills, small group work and understanding workplace norms.


Participant Support

To advocate for change in social systems so that they are accountable, effective and accessible for women and girl survivors of violence.

Who can apply

AWARE is open to women applicants with a history of trauma and abuse. Download the Advancing Women’s Awareness Regarding Employment program brochure.

To apply or for more information call AWARE at 778-628-1867 or email



Women who want to enter the AWARE program do not need a formal referral. Women who are survivors of violence and abuse, underemployed (working less than 10 hours a week), or unemployed can be self-referred to participate in the AWARE program.

Participant Quotes 

“The program has been so hopeful, I feel motivated to keep going in my search for a better job.”

“When I started my journey with the AWARE Program I was completely broken. My previous counsellor found here told me just try as I was so scared to try new places. This program really helped me to build up my self-confidence, self-awareness, learn a lot about Canada’s workplace, about my rights, how to set boundaries (although still struggling). In general I learn A LOT. Without your encouragement and peace I never could find my job. THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

“What AWARE means to me. A safe place to come and have ladies run different groups for us. Unemployment, trauma groups or 16 Steps, Counselling and a place to meet others that are in the same situation as us. I want to thank all of them, they do so much and very appreciated. Thank you.”


On average, every 48 hours, a woman is killed in Canada by her intimate partner