Our work brings together researchers, survivors, front line workers, service providers, academics, data and policy analysts, students, and community members to produce critical research and provide policy and strategic support for gender equity and social justice movements.
We mobilize community-based knowledge, experiences, and evidence-informed resources to promote systemic advocacy to end all forms of gender-based violence.
We build on the long tradition of movement-driven, community-derived, participatory research and use an explicitly decolonial, anti-oppressive, intersectional, and racial justice lens in our approaches to anti-violence research, education and action.
We are working on the following research projects:
Colour of Violence: Race, Gender and Anti-Violence Services
We are undertaking a multi-year Colour of Violence project to examine the intersections of race and gender for Black, Indigenous, migrant/refugee, racialized women and gender diverse people experiencing gender-based violence in British Columbia. Based in anti-oppressive, anti-racist, decolonial and feminist principles, this work will position racialized survivors at the center of anti-violence work.
We wish to make visible the experiences of racialized survivors so that anti-violence service provision, advocacy, and government policy centers these unique realities. We also aim to challenge the homogenization of “women of colour” and tend to the specific experiences of Black, Indigenous, migrant/refugee, and women and gender diverse survivors of colour.
We will examine elements of police and criminal legal responses; the systemic barriers to accessing adequate gender-based violence services; and the intersecting involvement for Black, Indigenous, immigrant/refugee, women and gender diverse survivors of colour with child welfare, immigration, mental health, income assistance, housing, and other systems.
Please read more: https://www.bwss.org/colour-of-violence/
Road to Safety: Indigenous Survivors in BC Speak Out against Intimate Partner Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) undertook a year-long research project “The Road to Safety: Indigenous Survivors in BC Speak Out against Intimate Partner Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Colonialism lays the foundation for the many ways that Indigenous women and gender diverse peoples are not only experiencing intimate partner violence, but also the barriers Indigenous survivors face in accessing anti-violence supports and safety.
During the pandemic, BCAAFC and BWSS, in partnership with the University of Victoria, engaged in a community-based research project involving surveys and first-hand interviews to understand, raise awareness, and engage in advocacy about the experiences of intimate partner violence that Indigenous women and gender diverse people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please read more: https://www.bwss.org/road-to-safety-research/
Assessing the impacts of the Jordan decision on gender-based violence cases
R v Jordan is a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that changed the framework previously used to determine whether an accused was tried within a reasonable time under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sending a strong message condemning the complacency around lengthy pretrial delays.
This project is assessing how the Jordan decision has influenced the choices made by police and the Crown with respect to carrying out investigations and pressing charges, and how this has impacted victims of gender-based violence offences.
Please read more: https://www.bwss.org/jordan-framework-bwss-expresses-concerns-to-federal-government/
Justice? Or Just a Piece of Paper?
We are researching protection orders and peace bonds as they relate to intimate partner violence and gender-based violence in B.C in order to better understand the challenges and barriers that survivors face in pursuit of protection orders and peace bonds. We are gathering data in order to influence government policy and best practices to maximize effectiveness of protection orders and peace bonds, to better protect women, girls, and gender-diverse people facing intimate partner violence.
Assessing the intersections of race and gender in police response to Black, Indigenous, and women of colour experiencing gender-based violence in BC
Although the police and legal systems are mandated to support GBV victims, there is evidence that battered Black, Indigenous and women of colour (BIWOC) receive harmful responses from the police.
This research enables action through a reflective cycle, where community members and services collect and analyze data together to assess police response to BIWOC victims of GBV. The aim is to increase communication between victims, community organizations, and the criminal justice system to create opportunities for BIWOC to shape policies that will protect them and their communities.
National Action Plan to end gender-based violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a violation of human rights, a criminal justice issue, and a significant public health concern. In Canada, 50% of all women and girls as young as 16 years of age reported having experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Although activists have long advocated for the federal government to initiate an intersectional, inclusive, and coordinated effort to form a national plan to end gender-based violence, Canada has yet to create one.
In partnership with Women and Gender Equality Canada and YWCA Canada, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) and the Intersectional Feminist Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (IFJROC) is conducting community engagement sessions with multiple stakeholders to gather community priorities, recommendations, activities, and feedback to inform Canada’s National Action Plan to end gender-based violence.
Please read more: https://nationalactionplan.ca/