404 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 3 MAY 2018
The ten project participants were tasked with developing a tool that
would be of benefit to other older immigrant women in the community.
CCEL’s role was to facilitate a process though which the women identified
the most pressing barriers to their well-being as survivors of violence, provide
research to help them select one topic to focus on, and then assist them
to develop a resource to address that issue. This group represents the fifth
OWDP tool-development group to date. Examples of tools have included
videos, factsheets, petitions, postcard campaigns and workshops. All the
tools can also be viewed on the OWDP project webpage: <www.bcli.org/
Through group meetings, participants discussed barriers to their wellbeing
and carefully and thoughtfully considered what tool would help
women most. The five key barriers the women identified were:
1. Family law system: The family law system can sometimes be
more harmful than helpful. Women require better support from
lawyers, judges and police in order to keep themselves and their
children safe and to exercise their rights to property.
2. Information on housing options: There is not enough information
on long-term housing options for older women who have
experienced abuse. There is a perception that BC Housing is both
the only option (which is not true) and an unfair system.
3. Legal aid funding: Legal aid funding is inadequate to meet
women’s needs, especially if they cannot express themselves well
in English and have experienced trauma.
4. Children’s education: School-age children require education on
abuse of women and how to treat women with respect. Education
of children and young people would be one of the most effective
ways to reduce family violence.
5. Employment Assistance programs: Employment assistance programs
do not provide adequate assistance to older women. The
agencies older women are often required to work with in order to
receive social assistance treat older women as though they are
unemployable, and they do not provide practical support or help
with finding jobs and training.
In the end, based on existing initiatives and resources, the women
decided that a video focused on how the family law system had failed them
as survivors of violence was the tool with the most potential to contribute