Support Services Society
Sexual Assault Advocacy Centre
Information and Emotional Support Line
Conversations are Confidential*
Monday - Friday 9:00 - 5:00
* limits of confidentiality will be discussed during phone support
Q. What is "client-centered" counseling?
A. A client-centered approach invites the client to take an active role in their counseling with the counselor being supportive not directive. The client is at the centre of their own decision making. Guidance comes from the client's instincts and the counselor becomes an ally and advocate walking alongside the client. The counselor contributes expertise when appropriate to expand upon the client's understanding of the root cause of their struggles and suggests referrals to appropriate resources to build the client's support network. The counselor supports the client to discover their strengths and believe in themselves. A client-centered counselor encourages the client to develop a relationship with 'Self' fully aware that reconciliation with Self is at the heart of all healing. Goals of a client-centered approach are increased self-esteem, independence and openness to self-mastery.
People are capable of self-healing and personal growth which leads to self-actualization, an important concept in client-centered counseling. Self-actualization refers to the tendency of all human beings to move forward, grow, and reach their full potential.
Q. What is a "response-based" practice?
A. Whenever people are abused we do many things to oppose the abuse and keep our dignity and self-respect. We always try to reduce, prevent or stop the abuse in some way. These responses to abuse are called "resistance". Perpetrators know that we wll resist abuse and either plan in advance to sabotage our resistance or take action in the moment to interfere with or stop our resistance. People tend not to notice how we resist abuse. For example, relationship violence can be very dangerous so women will resist in ways that are not obvious. Hidden acts of resistance are our safest responses to violence and yet make us vulnerable to the judgments of others who do not see our responses as actions that increase our safety or preserve our dignity.
A response-based approach also considers the language used to describe the abuse or violence. Often the words we choose minimize the abusive acts, dismiss perpetrator responsibility, conceal our acts of resistance, and place blame on the victim. Language affects how we interpret acts of violence and therefore how we respond whether it be criminal justice system intervention or emotional support.
Response-based counseling examines not only the client's response to abuse but the responses received when they reported the violence. Was the client believed or dismissed? Was the perpetrator held accountable or was the client blamed? How does this response from others impact the client? Their view of themself? The likelihood of reporting abuse in the future?
"MANifesting Change ~ Promoting a Culture of Respect"
MANifesting Change is an invitation for men to step forward as allies and learn empowered responses to other men's use of violence towards women. Grounded in a critical analysis of power and control in relationship, MANifesting Change focuses on strengths, choice, dignity and respect.
Information and Emotional Support Line
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For women experiencing or at risk of intimate partner abuse/violence, sexualized assault or sexualized exploitation.
Crime Victim Assistance Counseling
We are registered counselors with the Crime Victim Assistance Program - a program assisting victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of crime. CVAP provides financial benefits on approved claims to help offset financial losses and assist in recovery such as: counseling, protective measures, lost wages, medical/dental or transportation expenses etc. for any victim of any crime in British Columbia.
For example, if you are a victim of sexualized assault, CVAP covers the cost of counseling (to a maximum of 48 sessions) and if necessary the cost of enhanced security systems or moving expenses. CVAP benefits are confidential and have absolutely no bearing on criminal court proceedings. Contact us for support in completing a CVAP application.
Criminal Justice System Support
If you have been victimized by crime we can assist you! Services include: making a statement to RCMP, registering with the Victim Safety Unit, completing a Victim Impact Statement and/or Statement on Restitution, witness orientation and accompaniment to court.
Domestic Violence Court
If you have been assaulted or threatened by your intimate partner and your partner has applied to have the no-contact condition amended the Domestic Violence court requires a safety plan before changes to contact conditions can be considered. We can help you with your safety plan.
If you have been charged with assaulting or threatening your intimate partner and you have applied to have the no-contact condition amended we can discuss strategies with you for maintaining safety during post-incident contact.
Please see our Domestic Violence Court page for more details.
* Domestic Violence Court Steering Committee
* Cowichan Valley Violence Against Women in
* Relationship Safety Initiative
* Island Health Safer Pregnancy Committee
* Ministry of Children & Family Development High Risk * Pregnancy Team
Honouring client's resistance to oppression and abuse and cultivating dignity for survivors of abuse and associated trauma is Warmland Women's Support Services Society's response-based approach to client-centered counseling in the Cowichan Valley.
Transformation Through Movement
Funded by the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, TTM is a series of workshops focused on body-centered trauma recovery for women survivors of sexualized violence, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Workshops include: Yoga, Tai Chi Gong, Wenlido (feminist-informed women's self defense) and 5Rhythms Dance. Follow-up therapeutic groups provide emotional support for participants to debrief and embrace resiliency as our bodies release stored trauma. TTM also provides a martial arts based workshop for male partners of female survivors of recent sexualized assault to support a healthy male response to other men's use of violence towards women.
Workshops and In-Service Trainings
We develop curriculum and facilitate workshops for local community members under the umbrella of grassroots social action events. We facilitate in-service trainings to social responders providing service to women and young girls who may be experiencing or are at risk of relationship abuse and/or violence, sexualized assault or exploitation. We provide co-facilitation of psycho-educational support groups for agencies seeking a feminist analysis of gender-based violence with a focus on strengths.
Sexualized Assault Advocate
Funded by the Department of Justice Canada, we provide crisis response in the form of emotional support, safety planning, information on forensic procedures and options for reporting, justice-related services and advocacy to adults of all gender identities who are survivors of a sexualized assault. We provide non-crisis accompaniment, a "response plan" for next-step actions, and "Honouring Resistance" counseling and therapeutic art support group.
This website is created and hosted by Website.com's Site Builder.