About North Shore VAWIR
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. Today there are coordination initiatives in over 50 communities across BC, many of them in rural and isolated areas (content borrowed from the Ending Violence Association of BC, www.endingviolence.org).
About the same time as community coordination initiatives began in BC, the North Shore Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women in Relationships (NS VAWIR Committee) was formed. Since July 2001, the Committee has been hosted and supported through coordination and administration by the North Shore Women’s Centre. For a number of years, it was also co-facilitated by the North Shore Family Court and Youth Justice Committee’s (NSFCYJC) Domestic Violence Program Coordinator.
The Committee includes representation from a wide range of community service providers involved in areas such as policing, probation, victim’s services, crown counsel, health, First Nations, immigrant and multicultural services, counselling, advocacy, women's services, and legal services. For more information about these agencies, please click here.
The Committee creates a forum for service providers and representatives from the many sectors involved in preventing and responding to violence against women. The five sub-committees, Steering Committee, Integrated Case Assessment Team (ICAT), Education, Policy, and Diversity, assist members to network and plan in the areas of service delivery, education, and systemic response.
In the area of service delivery, the Committee provides opportunities for front line workers and other representatives of member agencies to regularly meet face-to-face. Meetings allow committee members to:
Communicate information about their services and referral protocols.
Identify gaps and trends in their own, and other sectors.
Share feedback from clients and improve program planning.
Consider best practices in service delivery for women experiencing violence.
Discover how best to create a continuum of service to clients.
Discuss how all agencies can form partnerships to maximize funding opportunities.
In 2003, the NS VAWIR Committee launched the Domestic Violence Emergency Response System (DVERS) in partnership with ADT, the North Vancouver RCMP, and the West Vancouver Police Department. The DVERS program worked in conjunction with ADT Alarm Systems, who provided their home alarm systems to women facing imminent physical violence. The program ran for 10 years until it was cancelled by ADT in early 2013.
In June 2013, the North Shore Integrated Case Assessment Team (NS ICAT) was formed, and as of July 2016, it had reviewed over 40 high risk domestic violence situations. The NS ICAT is one of many across the province and is comprised of members who support victims and respond to offenders of high risk domestic violence. The team is a sub-committee of NS VAWIR and includes representatives from:
North Vancouver RCMP and West Vancouver Police Department.
North Vancouver RCMP and West Vancouver Police Department Victim Services.
Community-based Victim Services.
Family Justice Counsellors.
The Ministry of Child and Family Development.
Native Court Workers.
Vancouver Coastal Health.
Aboriginal service providers.
SAGE Transition House.
Other various agencies that respond to domestic violence.
The focus of the NS ICAT is to improve victim safety through risk assessment, safety planning, and offender management. The development of the NS ICAT model is based on the research and Best Practices of the Community Coordination for Women’s Safety program at EVA BC. Click here for more information about ICATs in BC. This type of community coordination is mandated in the Provincial government’s Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) policy for highest risk domestic violence situations.
A focus of the NS VAWIR Committee has been on building capacity within the Committee, and among service providers in the community at large, by providing a range of education and training initiatives in the following areas:
Risk assessment and intervention.
The Committee conducts public education via community forums, information tables, and other various means. December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, is one day in which the committee reaches out to the public to provide information and raise awareness. The creation of this North Shore VAWIR website allows the public to access the committee's resources, as well as providing information and training for service providers.
The NS VAWIR Committee further works to collectively understand and address the systemic nature of violence against women. It does so by staying in touch with changes in government and justice system policy and legislation, as well as making recommendations for change when appropriate. The Committee liaises with other community response networks and violence against women prevention organizations to increase its efforts in systemic change.
The Committee welcomes new and returning members from amongst the community. Service providers meet 4-6 times per year for approximately two hours at a time. Members are requested to share information from Committee meetings throughout their respective agencies to facilitate coordination at all levels of the community.
If you are a North Shore service provider and would like to join the NS VAWIR Committee, please contact Michelle Dodds at the North Shore Womens Centre:
By telephone - 604.984.6009
By email - firstname.lastname@example.org
North Shore Women's Centre
The North Shore Women's Centre is the organizing host for the North Shore Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women in Relationships.
For more information about the North Shore Women's Centre, please visit: www.northshorewomen.ca
North Shore Community Agencies
The NS VAWIR Committee is comprised of members from various North Shore agencies, including front line workers and agency representatives.
For more information about these agencies, please click here
Sponsors and Supporters
Special Thanks to Our Supporters
The NS VAWIR Committee would like to thank the City of North Vancouver and the Districts of North and West Vancouver for their financial support.
Special Thanks to Our Sponsors
The NS VAWIR Committee would like to thank COBS Park & Tilford for generously providing in-kind support to our bi-monthly committee meetings.
For more information about COBS Park & Tilford, visit their Facebook page here