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Community Agency Assignment, Crisis Centre

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Domestic violence against women is a major public concern worldwide and appears to be pervasive. According to findings from the World Health Organization multi-country study on women' health and domestic violence indicate that between 15% to 71% of women reported being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives and that over five thousands women are killed every year by close family members across the world in the name of honor (World Health Organization, 2002). Many women don't know that there are resources out there available to them. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a community agency that provides crisis intervention services to individuals and families experiencing crisis.

Agency's mission and goals

Vancouver Rape Relief Society was founded in 1973 by Johanna Den Hertog, Janet Torge and Teresa Moore. The mission of this organization is to end violence against women. They started the first rape crisis center in Canada when they realized there were no services for women that had been raped. Later, they realized that women who have been affected by violence needed a safe place to stay to escape from the violent. So, transition houses were formed as safe housing for women with or without dependent children at risk of violence in 1981. The purpose of transition house was to meet battered women's need such as more safety, more time to organize and "room to dream & scheme together" (, March 15, 2011).

Services & funding

This organization offers a variety of free and confidential services such as crisis line, transition house, support groups, advocacy and accompaniment, peer counseling and free legal clinic to women escaping rape, battering, incest, harassment, and prostitution. A 24-hour crisis line is available seven days a week where women can call for an emergency crisis situation such as violence and rape (, March 15, 2011). The agency and the workers provide emotional support and peer counseling. There is no time line for those services. Women can stay in transition house from 2-3 days to a month depending of their needs. Some may have issues regarding finances such as welfare and housing whereas some other women may need legal help such as lawyers to fight for custody of their children. Support groups are to break the isolation and share those harsh experiences with other women who can understand their situation. This organization believes that it is important for women to share their stories as emotional support and knowledge help women to make the change. Transition houses are to provide emotional support and crisis intervention, safe, temporary shelter with 24/7 staffing, help in accessing housing, financial, medical and legal assistance (, March 15, 2011). According to BC housing last year, approximately 13,000 women and children stayed at transition houses and safe homes in British Columbia (, March 15, 2011). Another service is advocacy and accompaniment in which they provide women with information and resources for dealing with police, government ministries, social workers, courts, and/or hospitals. They also provide peer counseling either over the phone or face to face counseling to help women strategize and fight back. Free legal clinic is another service in which they arrange a meeting for women with pre-assigned lawyers for their legal needs such as child custody (, March 15, 2011). At last they provide speakers, articles, and films on male violence against women for as an educational forces for progressive changes in attitudes for teaching purposes to students, coworkers, family, friends, and lovers. The goals of this agency is to advocate for women's equality, end male violence against women, and to educate the society of progressive changes in attitudes, laws and institutional procedures which are in the way of reaching men and women equality (, March 15, 2011).

A large portion of this agency's budget comes through fundraising in the community (D. Kler, personal communication, March 15, 2011). Fundraising activities such as Walkathon, ongoing monthly or yearly pledged support and Tin Can Drive have been key aspects of their work every year. Community support is vital as each year over 1400 new women who call crisis line for help and over 120 woman and their children who seek and receive shelter in those transition house (, March 15, 2011). However, they receive some funding from the government for their services for transition houses. This agency is currently funded by BC housing for its transition house services. They are credited by the Community Gaming Grants to receive a portion of the gaming monies (, March 15, 2011).

Client population

According to D. Kler, who I interviewed at the agency, the population being served in those transition houses are all types of women including immigrants, Canadian, Educated and not educated and from all socioeconomic status (personal communication, March 15/2011). However, she mentioned that women with lower income tend to use the services more as they have no other recourses such as renting a hotel room. She also mentioned that women with variety of ages could be the victims of domestic violence but it seems that often women in their mid twenties



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