A little background on EVA BC and the history of our name
In 1992, BC’s sexual assault centres and specialized victim assistance programs were looking for ways to encourage networking between them, to improve coordination and information-sharing, and prevent duplicating efforts. Thanks to a grant from the then Secretary of State of Canada, the BC Association of Specialized Victim Assistance Programs was incorporated on August 7, 1992. This was the beginning of what we now call EVA BC.
In 1995, we extended membership to include Stopping the Violence Counselling programs and changed our name to Specialized Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs of British Columbia. In 1997, our name changed again to BC Association of Specialized Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs. In 2008, we once again expanded our membership to include Stopping the Violence Outreach and Multicultural Outreach programs. As our mandate continued to expand, in 2009 we engaged in a new strategic plan that reflected our broader vision to end gender-based violence and on January 12, 2009, we officially became the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC)..
EVA BC’s executive director, Ninu Kang reflects on the anniversary. “Looking at the legacy of the past 30 years, I feel so privileged to be part of this vibrant group of dedicated frontline workers and community partners dedicated to improving outcomes for the survivors of gender-based violence,” says Kang. “We couldn’t do it without you, but together we can move mountains.”
Our fundamentals: training, resources and support
EVA BC’s mandate has always been to provide support, training and development to the Community-Based Victim Services (CBVS), Stopping the Violence (STV) Counselling and STV Outreach and Multicultural Outreach programs funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (MPSSG) and engaged in frontline anti-violence work across the province. Today, EVA BC supports almost 300 community-based services and initiatives including sexual violence response programs and programs that respond to intimate partner violence, child abuse and criminal harassment.
One of the fundamental ways we support programs has been to offer training and our Core Training is the baseline for those who work in frontline roles. In addition to core training and other offerings throughout the year, our Annual Training Forum (ATF) brings workers and leaders together for professional training, networking and inspiring keynote speakers.
We also offer direct support to our member programs who reach out to us for support at email@example.com. Within the sector, we offer a wide range of resources to help support anti-violence work.
But EVA BC goes further in pursuit of its vision of “a society free from gender-based violence.”
With a mission to “work collaboratively to improve prevention and response systems that support communities impacted by gender-based violence, harassment and hate,” EVA BC developed upon initiatives started in 1989 by community organizations and the Province of BC to create Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS). The CCWS team, currently funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (MPSSG), assists communities across the province to develop new models or improve upon existing models of coordinated cross-sector response to gender-based violence. CCWS brings together sectors that respond to gender-based violence — including front-line anti-violence services, police, child protection, corrections, transition houses, hospitals, Indigenous services, settlement programs and others — to ensure that they all work together as effectively as possible with the common goal of keeping survivors safe.
CCWS also provides support and training for Interagency Case Assessment Teams (ICATs), a program unique to BC and initially created by North Okanagan’s Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) team. ICATS respond to referrals of suspected highest risk intimate partner violence cases with an aim to increase safety.
Guided by a provincial TPR Work Team comprised of EVA BC/CCWS, BC Association of Chiefs of Police, RCMP “E” Division, Vancouver Police Department Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit, BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police, and BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, CCWS also leads the BC Third Party Reporting (TPR) Protocol.
Changing culture and preventing gender-based violence
In 2011, we began the groundbreaking work of the Be More Than a Bystander program, a partnership with the BC Lions Football Club that inspires change to make communities safer. Its custom programs for schools and workplaces deliver practical tools to end violence, bullying and harassment.
EVA BC’s prevention work continues to grow and we develop and take part in other programs that seek to shift culture and end gender-based violence.5