MAWS provides information only. If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free crisis & support line at: 1-877-977-0007
The YWCA – Westman Women’s Shelter, The Women’s Resource Centre, Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (Brandon), the Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre and the United Way Brandon and District have joined together to lead transformation of the gender-based violence sector in Brandon and the surrounding community. Gender-based violence is violence against a person, predominantly women, because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender and is experienced everyday by people living in the area covered by the Transforming Together Westman project.
“Transforming Together Westman is about a renewed approach to the systems and experiences survivors of violence endure on their healing journey,” said Bobi Stupack, Director of Programming and Development, The Women’s Resource Centre. “There are significant challenges that all agencies experience in this sector, and these challenges must be identified and mitigated in order to improve these systems. Most importantly, we must work together to implement best practices, respond to the Calls for Justice that emerged from the national report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and present a unified voice to advocate for improved accessibility to funding increases.”
The project is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, formerly Status of Women Canada and supported by the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters. Brandon is piloting the province wide work by bringing the community together to respond to gender-based violence in a way that has not happened before.
“We need to handle all violent situations that involve women, girls and transgender, non-binary individuals differently than ever before, “said Heather Symbalisty, Executive Director, YWCA Westman Women’s Shelter. “Education, conversations and commitment to change needs to happen at all levels of our society from Brandon Police Services, RCMP to social workers and support workers to your next-door neighbor hearing shouting or seeing bruises on your friend’s arm – we all need to be involved.”
“When women who represent their own community work together good things will come of it,” said Lisa Ramsay, Co-ordinator, Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre. “The safety of all women is a right we all have. Collaboration between various sectors is essential to get the full sense of what’s happening, to identify gaps and to come up with creative ways to change service delivery.”
There will be unlimited opportunity for those who have experienced violence, those who use gender-based violence services, those who provide such services and those who fund them to be involved in the community planning process. Engagement will be virtual using ZOOM and Howspace, an AI-powered digital collaboration tool, to host a virtual community event and an asynchronous on line event in November. The virtual community meeting will be held on November 25, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“By joining together as women with varied life experiences we can address some of the gaps in our community, change our systems for the better and make a meaningful change, “said Solange Machado, Harm Reduction Network of Manitoba.
The Women’s Resource Centre 204-726-8632
Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (Brandon) 204-573-5792
The Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre 204-726-6280
United Way Brandon and District 204-571-8929
If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free help line at: 1-877-977-0007.
For more information, contact:
Heather Symbalisty, Executive Director, YWCA Westman Women’s Shelter 204-901-4912
Bobi Stupack, Director of Programming and Development, The Women’s Resource Centre 204-726-8632