|The Cridge Centre for the Family
|Building a Road-Map to Safety for Immigrant and Refugee Women
|Purpose of Investment:
|To assist immigrant and refugee women facing intimate partner violence through an online toolkit and coordinated service team in Victoria BC, and to share best practices to over 370 transition houses across Canada.
The Cridge Centre for the Family is a Christian organization serving Greater Victoria. They have 144 years of experience and credibility standing behind 25 years of service in the field of domestic violence. For this grant, they have the expertise but not the internal capacity to do the legwork of creating an innovative and scalable road-map to safety for immigrant women impacted by violence.
Immigrant/Refugee (I/R) women fleeing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) often have no social safety net when they are forced to leave their abusive partner. When immigration status becomes precarious and financial stability vanishes, women are at increased risk of homelessness, violence and deportation. I/R and IPV-serving agencies are often left scrambling to find resources to help these women be safe. Coordination of services and resources is critical to the safety of I/R women.
In Victoria, the organization has seen the number of I/R women dealing with IPV increase dramatically over the past 5 years. The circumstances are increasingly complex, and the support services needed to keep women safe are costly. The immigration process is complicated and often difficult to access due to barriers of language, culture, trauma, and systemic fear of government institutions. These women have also often been isolated from their community by their partner and have no knowledge of what supports are available to them. They require extra support and services above and beyond what transition houses can offer, as well as added financial support. Charities become the support system to provide for their basic needs.
The Cridge Transition House for Women currently uses a 6 point Circle of Support model for immigrant/refugee women. We are directly supporting women through the first 4 points (Survival, Navigating Systems, Implementing Safety Plan, and Accessing Services) and are working towards the final 2 points: Coordinating Services and Advocacy with Government. This grant is to facilitate a pilot project to develop the fifth point: Coordinating Services.
The grant would be used to develop a Coordinated Service Team (CST) in Victoria, and to develop an online Tool Kit so CSTs could be replicated in communities across Canada. While the Cridge Centre has expertise in serving I/R women dealing with IPV, they do not have the capacity with our current staff to create such a team or to develop the Tool Kit. The grant would be allocated for hiring a person to coordinate the outcomes, and funds for tech/online support and development. They anticipate the project will take 12 months to complete although seeing the wider impact across Canada will take considerably longer. They will follow up with an annual survey for the following 3 years after completion to assess wider impact.
- Develop Immigrant/Refugee (I/R) Women’s Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Coordination Pilot Project in Victoria BC in 6 months to have:
- Coordinated Service Team (CST) of professionals to meet monthly with expertise in: IPV, I/R services, legal/government
- Online listing of services (5 pgs.) available in Victoria for I/R women dealing with IPV.
- A 20-30 pg. digital Tool Kit to equip transition houses across Canada to develop a CST to support I/R women dealing with IPV. Completed by month 12. Manual will cover key topics: identifying and engaging key professionals, identifying local resources and services, processes for developing CSTs.
- A survey of 370+ transition houses will be completed (month 24 and 36) to assess the efficacy of the Tool Kit and to measure the increase of services available in Canada. Goal: increase by 30% the number of communities with CSTs.
- Conduct fundraising audit (by month 4) and implement recommendations to expand donor database (by month 12)