Increasing Safety For Women Experiencing Sexual and Domestic Violence
November 6-7, 2014
Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC
Annual General Meeting November 8, 2014
Frontline and anti-violence workers from across BC gathered at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond on November 6 & 7, 2014 for EVA BC’s Annual Training Forum. The training provided participants with a much more in-depth look at domestic and sexual violence risk identification and focused on various critical safety planning perspectives needed in order to keep women and children safe from violence.
Bonnie Brayton is the National Executive Director of DAWN-RAFH Canada (Disabled Women’s Network of Canada), a national feminist-disability organization working to advance the rights of women with disabilities and deaf women in Canada and internationally. Bonnie is also the President of Coup de Balai – Clean Sweepers, a social economy organization providing home care services to people with disabilities and seniors in her community in Montreal while also creating employment, income and job security for women who were previously unemployed (primarily, immigrant and racialized women). Bonnie is the Vice-Chair of the Feminist Alliance for International Action, and serves on the Making Women Count Advisory Group with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Shamita Das Dasgupta is a co-founder of Manavi, the first organization in the U.S. to focus on violence against South Asian immigrant women. She has been engaged in advocacy to end violence against women for over thirty years. Shamita has taught at Rutgers University and is currently teaching as an adjunct professor at NYU Law School. In addition to several articles and reports she is the author of five books including A Patchwork Shawl: Chronicles of South Asian Women in America (1998, Rutgers University Press, USA); Body Evidence: Intimate Violence Against South Asian Women in America (2007, Rutgers University Press, USA); and Globalization and Gestational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life (2014, Lexington Books).
Melanie Mark worked as a Child and Youth Advocate from the RCY’s inception in April 2007 until January 2013, when she assumed responsibility for the RCY’s advocacy mandate, Aboriginal relations, community outreach and youth engagement. In her role as Associate Deputy Representative, Melanie is responsible for overseeing the delivery of services to Aboriginal children and families and continuing the Representative’s outreach to Aboriginal organizations. Ms. Mark is of Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway descent and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University as well as a Criminology Diploma from Douglas College. In 2006, she received a Young Woman of Distinction Award from the YWCA Vancouver. She is the co-founder of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre and past president of the Urban Native Youth Association.
Sue O’Sullivan is the Federal Ombudsperson for Victims of Crime. Throughout her career, Sue O’Sullivan has been an advocate for safe and healthy communities and for increased services to victims. Ms. O’Sullivan began her distinguished career in policing in 1981, holding numerous leadership positions throughout her 30 years of service until retiring as Deputy Chief of Police (Ottawa). Ms. O’Sullivan began an appointed term as Canada’s Federal Ombudsperson for Victims of Crime on August 16, 2010. She was renewed for a second three-year mandate in July 2013. During her time as Ombudsperson, Ms. O’Sullivan has continually placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that victims’ voices are heard at the federal level and has pushed for positive change for victims of crime in Canada, including making recommendations to the Government of Canada on legislative and policy amendments.
Nancy Carter, Executive Director, Civil Policy and Legislation, Ministry of Attorney General
Nancy Carter has worked for the provincial government in a number of capacities for over 21 years. She is currently the Executive Director, Civil Policy and Legislation, Justice Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General. Her office is tasked with policy development in the areas of family justice reform and private law reform. Nancy and her team are responsible for the development of the Family Law Act introduced in November 2011. She has a BA from the University of Victoria and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Clark Russell, Director of System and Service Coordination at Provincial Office of Domestic Violence
Clark Russell has 35 years of service in policing in the Victoria area with extensive experience dealing with issues relating to domestic violence and the prevention of domestic violence. He was involved in the creation of the Victoria Regional Domestic Violence Unit and has been a member of the Violence Against Women in Relationships Committee in Victoria since 2001. Clark was also a member on the Coroner’s Domestic Violence Death Review Panel that examined 29 deaths involving domestic violence circumstances and made recommendations for preventing similar deaths in the future.
Gisela Ruebsaat, Legal Analyst, CCWS
Gisela Ruebsaat is a law school graduate called to the British Columbia Bar in 1983. Gisela has worked as a researcher, policy writer and trainer in the justice and anti-violence field at the federal, provincial and community levels. She worked for the Ontario Ministries of Attorney General and Citizenship and Culture, producing ministry position papers and statements in the legislature on major justice reform. She was on the project team for the Keeping Women Safe: Eight Critical Components of an Effective Justice Response to Domestic Violence report. Gisela has been a consultant with the CCWS program since its inception in 2001.
Frida Tromans, British Columbia Lawyer
Frida Tromans graduated from UBC Law in 2000 and was called to the Bar of BC in 2001. Frida has always worked in litigation, and practiced insurance defence, human rights, personal injury and criminal defence before working in family law. She has been doing family law almost exclusively since 2008. Her office is located in South Surrey – she is one of two principals at Peninsula Law Group. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Frida worked in the social services realm with adults and children with developmental disabilities, the former in job placement and training and the latter as a special education assistant and child care worker.
2014 Keynote Speeches from the Training Forum are available our YouTube page.