Ending Violence

Anti-Violence Initiatives

Photo: Leaders gather at the Kermode Friendship Society to commemorate by marching for MMIGW on February 14th, 2020 on Tsimshian Territories (Terrace, BC).
In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are among the most at risk to be victims of violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation (Government of BC, 2014) due to the ongoing effects of colonialism, racism and discrimination.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was launched in September 2016 to acknowledge and gather evidence for an examination on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals in Canada. The inquiry addresses issues in sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, bullying, harassment, suicide, and self-harm. The vision of the inquiry is to build a foundation that allows Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks to reclaim their power and place within their communities.
This movement honours the lives of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who have been subjected to intergenerational violence, survivors and those who have passed on to the spirit world.  Through the gathering of community and cultural knowledge, creating opportunities to heal through commemoration and artistic expressions and public education have all contributed towards the movement.
The BCAAFC demonstrates support for this work with essential partnerships to collaborate and bring awareness through anti-violence initiatives by identifying gaps in prevention and social justice. Additionally, the implementation of education and supports empower Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and their communities.

How Can We Help?

BCAAFC – TELUS Mobility for Good Program

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship centres (BCAAFC) in partnership with TELUS  will be distributing mobile phones to Indigenous women and girls who otherwise would not have access to cellular communication. Increasing accessibility to a mobile communication is one part of BC Friendship Centres’ strategy to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls and improve their safety. The phones will come with one year of nationwide talk & text + data from TELUS, made possible through the TELUS Mobility for Good program.
If you qualify, please use the link to request a phone.
Photo: Leaders at the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), TELUS, and Prince George Native Friendship Centre commemorate the new partnership between BC Friendship Centres and the TELUS Mobility for Good program at the BCAAFC Annual Membership Meeting (September 23, 2021).
Photo: All Nations Strong Women for Education and Reconciliation (ANSWER), an urban – Indigenous women’s drum group located on Lekwungen and Esquimalt territories perform during a closing ceremony for Gathering Our Voices 2019, an Indigenous Youth Leadership Conference hosted on Nuu-chah-nulth territory of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations (Port Alberni, BC).

Ending Violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Individuals – Provincial Core Training for Advocates

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres in partnership with the Battered Women’s Support Services, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, and the BC Society of Transition Houses, working together on “Building Capacity to Address Gender-Based Violence Project.” Funded by the federal government’s Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada.
We continue to take action to address gender-based violence in our communities. We seek to support the voice and leadership of survivors of violence and grassroots advocates who move from the heart and are at the root of social, cultural, and legal changes, especially changes needed so that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals can live lives free of violence.

Additional Resources 

Counselling for MMIWG Impacted Individuals

Free counselling services in BC are available to survivors, family members and individuals affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. People of all genders are encouraged to connect to this counselling. Individuals do not need to have status and can live on or off reserve. This counselling program is administered by FNHA through the Health Benefits team, and counselling is offered by providers who are registered with FNHA’s Mental Health Provider List. This list is updated regularly: http://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-First-Nations-Health-Benefits-Mental-Health-Provider-List.pdf.
Individuals who would like to access counselling are encouraged to connect directly with a mental health provider from the above list to schedule an appointment. The provider directly bills FNHA, so there is no upfront cost to the individual to access counselling.
For more information about this program, visit: http://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-MMIWG-Counselling-Program-FAQs.pdf.
Please feel welcome to contact the First Nations Health Benefits team with any questions that you might have at 1-877-477-0775.

The 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 and Battered Women’s Support Services, joined by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Prince George Sexual Assault Centre, released a year-long research project: “The Road to Safety: Indigenous Survivors in BC Speak Out against Intimate Partner Violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
In partnership with the University of Victoria, these leading Indigenous and anti-violence organizations in B.C. undertook a research project involving surveys and first-hand interviews with Indigenous women and gender diverse people across the province to understand the experiences of intimate partner violence that Indigenous women and gender diverse people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key findings include:
  • Pressures placed by the pandemic increased the frequency and severity of intimate partner violence experienced by Indigenous women and gender diverse people. 85% of survey respondents reported an onset of intimate partner violence during the pandemic, and 77% of survey respondents reported that they experienced an increase in intimate partner violence during the pandemic.
  • 67% of survey respondents faced challenges in accessing services during the pandemic, with 30% indicating that essential support services shut down. Growing waitlists to access services, inadequate access to transport and childcare, quarantine and isolation, racism and discrimination, and the involvement of MCFD and/or law enforcement agencies also prevented many Indigenous survivors from accessing anti-violence support services and safety.
  • 47% of survey respondents did not have access to an Indigenous-run transition home or safe house with culturally safe and relevant supports and services.
Read the report here.