“I wish I’d known about you sooner.”
This is a statement heard time and time again at Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS). After studying decades of domestic violence deaths, BWSS has found that the vast majority of women who died were not connected to a community advocate.
In advance of International Women’s Day 2019, BWSS is inviting people to #KNOWMORE. Victim support services can save lives.
Designed to raise awareness of services available at BWSS, including immediate crisis support, safety planning, victim services, victim impact statement taking, support with police interviews, court accompaniment, referrals to transition houses, crisis and intake line and provide information for people who are trying to support a loved one experiencing gender based violence – the website contains tips and tools about the risks and options for safety throughout British Columbia available at www.bwss.org/knowmore.
“For every woman who is killed there are thousands more living with serious and severe levels of violence” says Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of BWSS, “Women are more likely to tell a trusted friend, family member or co-worker about the abuse than call police, we want information available and accessible for people to be able to share the information immediately and easily.”
The statistics on gender-based violence in Canada and B.C. are staggering.
- Over 50% of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual violence[i].
- Every week a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner[ii]
- Each year in BC, more than 30,000 women and children affected by domestic violence are referred to violence against women counselling and outreach programs[iii].
- More than 18,000 women and children access transition houses and safe houses to escape violence or abuse[iv].
“The crisis support work at BWSS is one of a kind, we meet women where they are at and providing a matrix of services, to meet their immediate safety needs” says Rosa Elena Arteaga, Manager of Direct Services and Clinical Practice at BWSS, “Support services can make the difference between being a victim or a survivor”.
If you are seeking more information, are experiencing violence in an intimate relationship, or know someone who is, contact:
Battered Women’s Support Services Crisis and Intake Line: 604-687-1867
Toll Free: 1-855-687-1867
[i] Violence Against Women Survey (VAWS) http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/
[ii] Intimate partner violence https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/
[iii] BC Coroners Service Death Review Panel A Review of Intimate Partner Violence Deaths https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/
[iv] BC Coroners Service Death Review Panel A Review of Intimate Partner Violence Deaths https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/