SWOVA Community Development and Research Society

SWOVA - Empowering Youth for a Better Tomorrow! Our programs teach youth to reject violence and find peaceful solutions in their lives.

SWOVA Salt Spring Women Against Violence SocietyOur Impact Why We Exist

SWOVA empowers youth through education and skill building programs to have healthy and respectful relationships and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

We work to prevent violence and abuse by:

  • promoting healthy and respectful relationships;
  • supporting and enhancing evidence-based prevention education in schools;
  • building and fostering youth leadership;
  • developing solutions in partnership with community;
  • contributing to research in violence prevention education and skill development.

Our Story What We Do

Our organization was created in response to a horrific incidence of violence against a woman and her daughter in our community a number of years ago. A small group of women came together and chose to take this incident as a ‘wake-up call’ for action. The formation of SWOVA is an example of the positive energy that can rise out of such tragedy.

Our goal is to create a world where women and children are valued and able to live without fear of violence and abuse. We are committed to working in our local community to provide education, raise awareness, and develop solutions to prevent violence and abuse. We also work much further afield, providing resources, training, and education to communities seeking solutions and strategies for violence prevention.

Our Programs How We Do It

The primary focus of our organization for the past 21 years has been to prevent violence against women and children. Our programs include:

Salish Sea Girls' Leadership empowers youth to take a leadership role in our community in order to help prevent family violence. We bring together the talents, resources, and skills of motivated young people, increasing their collective power to address and prevent family violence. The project includes a public education initiative in the community which will raise awareness, change attitudes, and mobilize community efforts to end family violence. More information about Salish Sea Girls Leadership.

Respectful Relationships (R+R) is an award-winning violence prevention program for youth aged 12 to 18 years old, and is delivered by community-based adult facilitators in school classrooms in School District #64 (Southern Gulf Islands, B.C.). Our model is one of partnerships between men and women, youth and adults, and schools and community members. The R+R curriculum is delivered to students through a series of 12 workshops for each year. The workshops address bullying, sexism, racism, and homophobia, with a focus on the development of healthy, non-violent relationships among adolescent boys and girls. High school students are trained and mentored to co-facilitate the workshops alongside the adult facilitators. These youth comprise the Youth Team and serve as role models for the younger students. More information about R+R.

The Pass It On: Health and Safety for Girls and Young Women project is a mentorship program where high school young women mentor grade eight girls, helping them with the transition from middle school to high school. More information about Pass It On.

Peace Kids is SWOVA’s exciting new project to take Respectful Relationships education into the elementary school. Peace Kids addresses bullying and systemic violence occurring with younger students and offers social emotional learning (SEL) skills to increase personal and collective community health, safety, and well-being. More information about Peace Kids.

What You Can Do

Activities a donation will support

  • Mentorship training for young women
  • Fostering leadership skills for young women
  • Providing mentoring for grade eight girls by high school young women
  • Teaching skills for young women and girls to stay safe
  • Teaching respectful relationship skills to students in grades 4 - 10


Angela McIntyre
Executive Director
Charitable Number: 871680047RR0001

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