Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Healthy Relationships: Women
- Program name:
Indigenous Women's Program
Battered Women's Support Services
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Target Group:
Women (youth, adults, seniors)
- Contact Name:
Angela Marie MacDougall
The program began in 2003 and has been in operation since that time. Battered Women's Support Services (BWSS) is dedicated to ending violence against all girls and women. With 33 years of proficient feminist and decolonizing women-centered service delivery, BWSS has articulated and addressed the most pressing needs of historical and contemporary violence impacting girl's and women's lives. BWSS recognizes the unique and specific needs of Indigenous girls and women based on their colonial relationship to Canada and their inherent relationship to this land and territory.
- Goals & Objectives:
The purpose of the program is to provide a decolonizing process that nurtures the empowerment of Indigenous girls' and women's agency and self-determination in relationships. This awareness process intends to promote the reclaiming and restoring of Indigenous girls and women's inherent strengths, knowledge and beauty.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The structure of the program is a journey through the Medicine Wheel and is inclusive of west coast ceremonial practices. Methods of delivery include traditional women's teachings and practices, together with consciousness raising through an indigenized feminist analysis of violence against Indigenous girls and women. The setting is ceremonial; sessions start with a smudge and end with a smudge.
- Components of program:
The program also offers crisis intervention, counselling, support groups, pre-employment programming, court accompaniment, victim services, legal advocacy, volunteer opportunities and a Youth Engagement in Violence program.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Federal government; provincial government; municipal government; private foundations; and private donors.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Women, families and communities are intricately involved in all aspects of the program from planning, board membership, staffing, volunteers, leadership, and all levels of decision making.
The facility works with a significant matrix of individuals, service providers and systems representatives from the Indigenous communities from BC and other regions of Canada.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Having increased the numbers of women who access the Indigenous Women's Program to 25% of women who access Battered Women's Support Services.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
Program is considered replicable. No advice given.
Sufficient funding, human resources and facility space to operate out of are essential to program success.
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