Safe Choices focuses on improving the health and safety of LGBT2SQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, Two-Spirit and queer) folks and gender diverse individuals who are currently or have been in abusive relationships, and preventing relationship violence.
Safe Choices works by providing information and tools in the form of community workshops that encourage healthy relationships, as well as delivering educational workshops that focus on LGBT2SQ survivors’ experiences, for those who work in the anti-violence, justice, social services, and health sectors.
Please note: Safe Choices services are available free of charge only in areas served by Vancouver Coastal Health.
The Safe Choices Program offers:
- Workshops about healthy relationships and violence in LGBT2SQ people’s relationships.
- Publications about healthy relationships and violence in LGBT2SQ people’s relationships.
- Consultation and training for service providers and systems personnel who want to make their services more effective and accessible for queer and trans folks.
- Referrals to appropriate support services for LGBT2SQ people. (Please contact us for this service.)
Safe Choices is managed by EVA BC and funded by the SMART Fund of Vancouver Coastal Health.
Act II Child and Family Services conceived Safe Choices in 1999 as a support and education program that would offer training workshops for service providers and a phone line and support group for women who had experienced violence in their same-sex/gender relationships.
In 2002, EVA BC adopted Safe Choices and reconceived it as a program that would offer consultations, skill-building workshops (including training for service providers and support and education workshops for lesbian, bisexual and trans women) and referrals.
The shift away from ongoing direct support work was made in order to focus on community development activities, to work within the constraints of a limited budget and to align the program further with the aims of the SMART fund. As well, many survivors of same-sex/gender relationship abuse in Vancouver and other major cities were not accessing relationship abuse support groups for lesbians. Reasons included shame about publicly identifying themselves as being in an abusive relationship and/or confusion about whether their experience was abusive. More women were coming to learn about healthy relationships than to talk about their experiences of abuse. In the late 1990s, many queer service providers and researchers expressed interest in focusing on healthy relationships as a new strategy to engage queer communities in dialogue about relationship abuse.
Contact Safe Choices
Kate Rossiter (she/her)
Safe Choices Program Coordinator
Ending Violence Association of British Columbia (EVA BC)
1404-510 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8
safechoices [at] endingviolence [dot] org
604-633-2506 ext 12
EVA BC members only: 1-877-633-2505