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Archive for July, 2011

Women’s Coalition of the Downtown Eastside:
Women’s Safety 24/7

Women’s Coalition of the Downtown Eastside is a newly formed network of women-serving organizations and women’s groups in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. Our purpose is to advance women’s issues in the Downtown Eastside and to ensure the safety of women in this neighbourhood as a priority and a necessity.

We envision safety for women in the Downtown Eastside in a holistic manner. It includes safety for women from sexual and physical violence as well as safety from the daily indignities of poverty. We advocate for safe housing, safe services, and safe shelters for all women in the Downtown Eastside.

We observe how most services and spaces in the Downtown Eastside are either for men, or are co-ed spaces which default to men. Women in the Downtown Eastside deserve more choices in services which will meet their
diverse needs and experiences. All groups and services, including co-ed ones, need to embrace a women-centred philosophy and should implement practices that ensure women’s access and safety.

We will serve as a communication and network hub amongst service providers and women’s groups. When appropriate, we will work together to develop joint proposals. We prioritize the participation and engagement of women living in this community to identify how best we can meet their needs.

We are painfully aware of the particular experience of Aboriginal women, over-represented in this low-income neighbourhood and who have been marginalized for far too long. This is most evident in the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered women in the DTES.

We are inclusive and invite those who share our philosophy of serving women and are working to promote and ensure women’s safety to join us. We invite all individuals and organizations to support the work of our Coalition.

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
WISH Drop-In
DTES Power of Women Group
Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee
YWCA Crabtree Corner
Aboriginal Front Door Society
PACE Society
Battered Women’s Support Services
Inner-City Women’s Initiatives Society/DAMS
Saint James Community Service Society
Atira Women’s Resource Society
Union Gospel Mission

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