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Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS)

ccws-logo-vertical-2colorThe Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS) Program assists BC communities to develop new models or improve upon existing models of cross-sectoral coordinated response to violence against women. Coordination brings together various sectors that respond to violence against women — including counselling centres, transition houses, police, hospitals, Aboriginal services, etc.—to ensure that all services work together as effectively as possible with the common goal of keeping women safe.

Who We Are

Our CCWS Regional Coordinators have extensive backgrounds in working with coordination initiatives on violence against women and working directly with women experiencing violence. Our Legal Analyst has a background in law and policy development around key issues affecting women’s safety. You can find full bios of the CCWS team on our Staff page.

For more information about CCWS services, click here.

Our Program

  • Supports the coordination of responders to violence against women at the local level in both rural and urban communities
  • Identifies barriers to women’s safety in communities across the province and works with the provincial government and leaders in relevant sectors to reduce or eliminate those barriers
  • Conducts legal analysis and policy development around key issues affecting womens’ safety, including issues that arise locally but may require provincial or national attention
  • Provides training, support and the development of best practices for Interagency Case Assessment Teams (ICATs)

We are guided by a provincial Working Group that includes senior personnel from government, police and community agencies.

History

Since 1989, community organizations and The Province of BC have been involved in the development of violence against women coordination initiatives. These initiatives bring together system- and community-based representatives to enhance collaboration on local responses to violence against women. In 1989, The Province of BC funded 7 community coordination initiatives modelled on the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention program and coordination projects in Victoria, BC and London, Ontario. More initiatives have been launched across the province since then, but none have been funded by the provincial government. Today there are coordination initiatives in over 50 communities across BC, many of them in rural and isolated areas.

The CCWS Program is an outcome of the work of local and provincial women’s organizations and several key BC Ministries, including the Ministry of  Justice. The program is the end result of several years of consultation and coordination by EVA BC with groups across the province seeking to improve their community response to violence against women. The program’s development and start-up work was managed through a partnership between EVA BC and the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division (VSCPD) of the Ministry of Justice. EVA BC is now the sole managing partner, while VSCPD continues to be an active Working Group participant. Funding for the CCWS pilot was provided by the Law Foundation of BC, the National Crime Prevention Centre, the National Victims Policy Centre of Department of Justice Canada, the Ministry of Community Services and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. CCWS is currently funded by the Ministry of Justice.

CCWS work is grounded in evidence-based research and the experiences of communities in Canada and the United States where coordination among law enforcement and community service providers has proven to be one of the most effective methods of increasing women’s safety. Communities with a coordinated response are more likely to have effective referral systems, understand mutual roles and responsibilities and use resources more efficiently.

Publications

CCWS is known for developing timely and practical resources and background materials about violence against women coordination. Visit our Research & Publications page to find all CCWS resources.