The Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) program assists women and children victimized by violence by providing the emotional and practical support needed to lead a life free of abuse. The objective of the program is to increase the safety of assaulted women and their children who are fleeing violent relationships and ensure that their lives are not further endangered.

Clients who are eligible for VAWC services include all women who identify themselves or identified as having been physical, sexually or emotionally abused by their partner or significant other or extended family member. We provide confidential, culturally specific counseling services and support provided by immigrant women. (We operate from a holistic and integrated service model that addresses the social, cultural and political realities of minority communities, informed by feminist and anti-racist values.)

Services offered through the VAWC program include: 

  • Safety Plan development for women who are currently living in, leaving or have left abusive relationships

  • Safety Plan development for children of VAWC clients

  • Crisis, sexual assault and long-term therapeutic counselling for women and children, individually and in groups

  • Life skills development related to stress management, assertiveness, self-esteem, and relationships

  • Monthly support groups for VAW clients

  • One-on-one counselling available

  • Education and advocac

  • Employment supports and Plan of Action

  • Information & referrals for shelters, housing, and other community services

Our strategic location, in the heart of Gerrard India Bazaar and close to Chinatown East, means that we are highly visible to the vibrant, immigrant communities that populate Toronto's East End. Our program's outreach has been very successful. While most of our clients come from South Asia (30%), a significant number are from Africa (25%), South China (10%) and Europe (5%). Canadian-born clients represent 13% and the remaining 6% come from a variety of other ethnicities such as Middle Eastern, South American, Central Asian and South East Asian.

Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Program

Although they are listed as separate services, RIWC follows an integrated model of service where each of its service and program components overlaps. For example, although job search workshops are listed under Settlement and Integration Programs, they can be accessed by clients in other programs as well. Other services include counselling, internships, and community workshops.

To get involved, contact: