Cowichan Women Against Violence Society
Our Impact Why We Exist
CWAV Society exists to help women and children who have experienced abuse and violence deal with the impact of that trauma on their lives. Somenos House, our transition house provides protective housing for up to 30 days for women needing to quickly leave abusive situations. Our victim service program helps victims navigate the domestic violence court. Our trauma-informed counselling programs assist women and children overcome the impact of abuse. Our Horizons Pre-Employment program helps reduce barriers and put women on a path toward employment. And our Safer Futures program uses community based social research and community development to assist groups and local governments increase the safety of women and youth.
CWAV Society helps over 1,000 people each year.
Our Story What We Do
CWAV Society has four core programs. Each program offers multiple services.
- Somenos Transition House staff assist women in developing safety plans for themselves and their children, and help get them connected to housing and/or community resources.
- WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) has several sub-programs that provide one-to-one counselling and crisis support for women and children who have faced family and intimate partner violence. Community Based Victim Service (CBVS) workers provide crisis counselling around safety issues and support victims who are involved with the Domestic Violence Court at court. CWAV Society was instrumental in setting up protocols with the court to reduce the likelihood of escalating violence. Four times a year, CBVS runs a twelve-week group called Holding Your Own in Relationship (HYO). Stopping the Violence (STV) one-to-one long-term counselling helps women to overcome the impact the trauma that results from abuse. Our Children Who Witness Abuse (CWWA) counselling helps children ages 4 to 18 understand the impact of violence and prepares them for healthier relationships than they have witnessed. Several projects also fall under our counselling arm, including parenting workshops.
- Horizons Pre-Employment for Women enrols women who wish to overcome barriers to employment in four to six months life and employment skills workshops. Horizons also provides individual case management to get women ready for the group work and as they work toward employment after the formal program is complete.
- Safer Futures is a community development program that started doing safety audits for women in the Cowichan Valley, and has since expanded to address safety issues for youth. Safer Futures works in conjunction with the Cowichan Safety Advisory Commission (CSAC) of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). It’s most recent work involves reducing street harassment toward youth (primarily aboriginal girls and women) and supporting Safe Youth Cowichan, a group formed to effect change in public policy through youth activism. The program is finishing up a research project that identified barriers to women's access of community resources.
Our Programs How We Do It
CWAV Society provides a range of programs designed to assist women in their response to physical, emotional or sexualized abuse and/or violence from a current or past partner, family member or acquaintance. We also work to increase awareness, educate, and prevent abuse or violence, and work to promote community safety through many strategies.