2006 – Present
The FREDA GoGirls Group FREDA currently sponsors GoGirls – a facilitated group that focuses on skills development and fun. GoGirls members also serve as research consultants for FREDA’s current Status of Women study on girls and their experiences.
2000 – 2003
Violence Prevention and the Girl Child – Phase 2 The FREDA Centre has received funding from the Strategic Themes component of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to engage in an extensive and in-depth examination of the specific influences that heighten the vulnerability of racialized girls to violence, and factors that promote or impede social cohesion and a sense of belonging of racialized girls. This funding spans a 3-year period, during which time the Centre will endeavour to supplement the sparse Canadian academic literature dealing with the lives and realities of racialized girls. It is anticipated that one of the outcomes of this study will be a practical guide for frontline workers with suggestions on how best to intervene in crisis situations when dealing with racialized girls from diverse communities. With funding from the National Crime Prevention Mobilization Fund, the Centre will enhance its study of racialized girls by examining the factors and conditions that render marginalized girls more vulnerable to violence. Marginalized girls include Aboriginal, immigrant/refugee girls, lesbians, and girls with disabilities. The project focuses on convening roundtable discussions with service providers dealing with each of these populations. One of the aims of the project is to develop a multi-sectoral alliance involving service providers who deal with marginalized populations so as to facilitate an exchange of information and generate analyses and policy recommendations.
The Trial of Kelly Ellard The FREDA Centre and Justice for Girls monitored the Kelly Ellard trial since it began on March 6, 2000, and were available to comment on the trial’s proceedings once the verdict was given. Justice for Girls is a non-profit organization that promotes support, justice, and equality for low-income and street-involved teenage girls who have experienced violence. FREDA and Justice for Girls intend to combine their observations of the trial with their academic and community expertise, to produce a report that will analyze how young women are treated by the justice system. The perspectives of several young women who have been monitoring this trial as part of the internship program at Justice for Girls, will also be included. On Friday March 31, 2000 the jury found Ellard guilty of second-degree murder in the killing Reena Virk, a 14-year-old girl of south Asian origin, who was brutally beaten and murdered in Saanich, BC, on November 14, 1997. A group of six girls were charged with Virk’s assault and Warren Glowatski was convicted of second-degree murder last June. Analysis of the Ellard trial is part of FREDA’s work on the second phase of the Violence Prevention and Girl Child project funded by Status of Women Canada. FREDA’s focus in this second phase is to analyze the specific vulnerabilities of immigrant and refugee girls, and girls of colour.
Violence Prevention and the Girl Child – Phase 1 As part of its national violence prevention initiative, Status of Women Canada funded the Alliance of Five Research Centres on Violence (AFRCV) – of which the FREDA Centre is a member – to produce a national action plan on violence prevention and the girl child. According to Canadian national standards, the “girl child” is any girl or young woman under the age of 18 years (19 years in BC). Concentrating on the region in which it is located, each of the violence research centres will examine specific programs that service the needs of girls/young women who have experienced violence, as well as analyzing specific violence-related issues. The FREDA Centre has focused on the issues of eating disorders, sexual exploitation, and trafficking, as well as the experiences of marginalized girls. In addition, the Centre conducted focus groups with service providers and young women/girls as part of its contribution to this national initiative. A more comprehensive review of the literature on eating disorders has been completed by the FREDA Centre for Health Canada.
Rural Women and Violence In March 1998, the FREDA Centre undertook a project, funded by the federal Department of Justice, to examine the impact of violence on women living in rural communities. The project was completed with the assistance of community-based researchers in two rural areas of BC. It entailed interviews with women survivors of violence, as well as focus groups with service providers and community leaders.
Immigrant Women and Violence-Related Health Care The FREDA Centre received a grant from the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health to develop a framework document for the delivery of violence-related health care information and services to immigrant women from racialized communities. This project has just begun and involves a critical analysis of existing studies, as well as focus groups with service providers and immigrant women.
The Impact of Bill C-46 on the Provision of Health Care to Survivors of Violence A seed grant from the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health enabled the FREDA Centre to continue its policy analysis project, this time focusing on the impact of the privacy shield legislation in terms of records disclosure on health care providers who deal with women survivors of violence. The project entails an analysis of case law, challenges to the existing law, and interviews with service providers dealing with women who have experienced violence. The findings of the project can be found in the following report which may be purchased from the FREDA Centre: Denike, Margaret and Sal Renshaw. (1999) “Legislating Unreasonable Doubt: Bill C-46, Personal Records Disclosure and Sexual Equality.”
Policies and Actions The Centre’s extensive project analyzing the impact of regional and federal policies on women and children leaving abusive relationships, received further financial support from the Vancouver Foundation. With the combined assistance received thus far from Status of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region, and the Vancouver Foundation, the FREDA Centre will continue to generate critical analyses of policies, and will be convening focus groups around the province to assess the impact of these policies.
Some of the analyses resulting from this project can be found in the following reports available from the FREDA Centre:
– Chambers, Susan. (1998) “An Analysis of Trends Concerning Violence Against Women: A Preliminary Case Study of Vancouver.”
– Denike, Margaret and Sal Renshaw. (1999) “Legislating Unreasonable Doubt: Bill C-46, Personal Records Disclosure and Sexual Equality.”
– Janovicek, Nancy. (2000) “On the Margins of a Fraying Social Safety Net: Aboriginal, Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Access to Welfare Benefits.”
– Jiwani, Yasmin and Lawrence Buhagiar. (1997) “Policing Violence against Women in Relationships: An Examination of Police Response to Violence against Women in British Columbia.”
– Kachuk, Patricia. (1998) “Sentencing Reforms and Women Survivors of Men’s Violence: Why Women Should Care.”
– Suleman, Zara and Holly McLarty. (1997) “Falling Through the Gaps: Gaps in Services for Young Women Survivors of Sexual Assault.”
– Wilmshurst, Susan. (1997) “The Violence against Women in Relationships Policy: A Pre- and Post-Policy Examination of the Outcomes of Spousal Assault Reports in Penticton, BC.”
Fundraising and the Potential for Institutional Partnerships The FREDA Centre is a member of the Vancouver Women’s Fund (VWF) which is a grassroots fundraising organization representing fourteen different women’s groups. The Vancouver Women’s Fund has just completed a project, facilitated by the FREDA Centre, on the potential of institutional partnerships with women’s organizations which are involved in issues concerning violence prevention.
Aboriginal Women’s Action Network The FREDA Centre also participates on the advisory committee of the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network’s (AWAN) project on the impact of Bill C-31 on Aboriginal women. This innovative project was designed to document the impact of Bill C-31 and generate recommendations for change. The project is funded by Status of Women Canada, BC/Yukon Region. The final report is available from:
– Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, c/o Vancouver Status of Women, 309 – 877 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Y1.