Thursday 27 August 2015

Supporting Women and Children from Different Cultures (Including Immigrant and Refugee Women)

How can I support women and children from different cultures?

What is the impact of domestic violence on immigrant and refugee women and their children in BC?

From Building Supports
The BCSTH Library has a variety of resources for members who are supporting women and children from different cultures, including immigrant and refugee women. To borrow these resources, simply email

You will find the following categories below:
  1. BCSTH Publications
  2. What is Culture?
  3. Fact Sheets for Women in Languages Other Than English
  4. DVDs and Online Videos
  5. Practical Resources for Domestic Violence Workers
  6. Working with Children
  7. Deeper Reading


1. BCSTH Publications


2. What is Culture?

This "What is Culture?" fridge magnet can be ordered from the Society of Children and Youth of BC for $1. Based on the Iceberg Theory, the Culture magnet is packed with poignant questions to help you identify both the visible and invisible aspects of culture identity.


3. Fact Sheets for Women in Languages Other Than English

Here is a small selection of fact sheets available in multiple languages that you can either order or print out so they are on hand in your agency. 


4. DVDs & Online Videos

  • High expectations; The awakening; Where is my home?  [DVD, Mandarin] / Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society. In The Awakening: Jing Li immigrated to Canada with husband Dalin and daughter Jenny. While she hoped that this would change her husband into a different person, it is a change for the worse. Two other films are on this DVD. To borrow, email
  • Sharon; The decision; Enough is enough  [DVD, Punjabi] / Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society. This DVD contains three separate films in Punjabi, one each about child abuse, wife abuse and elder abuse in the Indian community in Canada. In "The Decision," Manjit is a victim of family violence and she is afraid that telling anyone will destroy her family. She has to decide what to do. To borrow, email
  • A life without fear  [DVD, English] / Sakhi for South Asian Women in Collaboration with the Donn Sigerson Foundation. This educational docudrama explores domestic violence in the South Asian community in America. A fictionalized account of a South Asian woman leaving an abusive relationsdhip raises the challenges faced by immigrant survivors. Brief survivor testimonies follow. To borrow, email
  • Say I do [VHS, English] : unveiling the stories of mail-order brides / written and directed by Arlene Ami. A documentary presenting three personal stories of "mail-order brides" originally from the Philippines now living in Canada. It looks at the contemporary "mail-order bride" industry. To borrow, email
  • Your human rights in BC [online video, English]

5. Practical Resources for Domestic Violence Workers
  • From BCSTH and AMASSA, Knowledge Exchange Toolkit for service providers with 10 tools and 6 supporting webinars.
  • Mothers without status: practical information for service providers working with women who have no legal status / YWCA Vancouver. This booklet supplies information for service providers who wish to assist single women with children who are living in Canada, but are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents, and who need help navigating their way through both the Canadian immigration system and the family law system. Many of these women have fled their relationships because of abuse, but they are unable to work or collect income assistance, and not able to leave Canada with their children. It provides an overview of the issues that mothers without status face, what they need to do to resolve their status, what service providers can do to help, and what other support is available.
  • "Wheels" adapted from the Power and Control Wheel Model /  National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Of interest: the immigrant, Muslim, also in various languages: Arabic, French, Korean.
  • Culture-infused counselling [Book] / editors: Nancy Arthur and Sandra Collins.  A theoretical framework and practical guide for understanding personal culture, increasing awareness of the culture of clients, and infusing culture into all aspects of professional practice. In this guide culture includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientaiton, ability, age, religion and socioeconomic status. To borrow, email
  • Crisis intervention training for children's support workers in transition houses : facilitator?s guide / Elzbie Jazwinski [et al.]. [Curriculum] The curriculum and handouts for a four day pilot training for front-line Children Support Workers, who work with children living in transition houses. Topics covered include understanding violence against mothers in intimate relationships; supporting abused mothers in their role as parents; the children?s crisis support program; supporting mothers from various cultures and their children in crisis; building safety with First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit women and children; record keeping, legal services and protocol re reporting of child abuse; and stress management and self-care. To borrow, email
  • Immigrant women's project : [online document] safety of immigrant, refugee, and non-status women / EVA BC, Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Services Society (VLMFSS) and MOSAIC. This resource guide contains the primary resource documents created by the project, including an annotated bibliography, research, consultations, and recommendations detailed in federal and provincial Briefing Notes to improve policy and law reform to increase the safety of women.
  • Assisting immigrant and refugee women abused by their sponsors : a guide for service providers / [written by Katrina Pacey]. This guide is written for service providers working with immigrant or refugee women who have been sponsored to come to Canada, are experiencing abuse by their sponsors, and want to separate from their sponsors but risk deportation. The guide contains information about the immigration process, legal and financial aid, work and education permits, and contacts and services. It is organized into typical scenarios.
  • Best practices in working with battered immigrant women : [online document] a toolkit for lawyers / Battered Women's Support Services. This toolkit addresses some of the common challenges faced by lawyers working with battered immigrant women, and provides tools and strategies that enhance effective communication with, and legal representation of women.
  • Cross-cultural caring : a handbook for health professionals / edited by Nancy Waxler-Morrison ... [et al.]. Addressing the need of health care and social service workers to better understand ethnic patients in order to provide culturally sensitive and effective treatment, this book looks at Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian, Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, South Asian and Central American ethno-cultural groups. It reviews both cultural beliefs and daily life concerns facing immigrants, such as work, income, child-rearing and aging. It also discusses issues such as childbirth, mental illness, dental care, hospitalization, and death. To borrow, email
  • Culturally competent practice with immigrant and refugee children and families
    [Book] /
    edited by Rowena Fong ; series editor's note by Nancy Boyd Webb.
    Covers the breadth of issues involved in working with over 14 immigrant and refugee groups in the United States. Expert authors discuss key issues facing families in each cultural group, including cultural conflicts, trauma associated with refugee experiences and/or illegal status, and the effects of poverty and discrimination. Ways that the practitioner can help families draw on culturally based resources for coping and resilience are emphasized. To borrow, email
  • Empowering non-status, refugee, and immigrant women who experience violence : [online document] manual / Battered Women's Support Services. This manual is written 'as an exploration of ideas, to present recurring issues and to critique existing practices. It has been developed to help frame and define a woman-centred approach to meeting the challenges faced by community workers and the NSRIW who access services? The tools, analysis and practical solutions included in this manual support community workers on the journey to work from a more inclusive anti-oppressive practice
  • Freedom from violence : tools for working with trauma, mental health and substance abuse : resource tool kit / Written by Tessa Parkes et al. SECTION FOUR : Specialized knowledge. -- Working effectively with immigrant and women on safey.
  • Guidelines for service providers : [online document] outreach strategies for family violence intervention with immigrant and minority communities / Mohammed Baobaid. This is a culturally-sensitive guide for working with minority communities to end family violence. It includes the steps to raise awareness about family violence in a culturally competent manner and to develop mutual understanding between the community and mainstream intervention services. 
  • Safety planning across culture & community :  a guide for front line violence against women responders[online document] Linda Light ... [et al].
  • Working with immigrant women : issues and strategies for mental health professionals [Book] / edited by Sepali Guruge, Enid Collins. Focuses on women's mental health and illness following migration and through resettlement. Looks at the challenges and barriers to meeting their needs within the current Canadian mental health care system. Contains information, strategies and recommendations. To borrow, email
  • Anti-oppressive ethics and values in social work / Derek Clifford, Beverley Burke. To borrow, email

6. Working with Children

  • Helping children cope with trauma : individual, family and community perspectives [Book] / edited by Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Danny Brom, Juliet M. Vogel. Section 2, Family, looks at the concept of family resilience, the impact of trauma on playfulness in toddlers and parents, innovative models for working with children traumatised by war, domestic violence and poverty and describes the challenges faced by refugee families in the light of intergenerational transmission of trauma. To borrow, email
  • The inner world of the immigrant child [Book] / Cristina Igoa. Written in narrative form, this book describes immigrant students' experiences of uprooting, culture shock and adjustment, and then offers a threefold theoretical model of cultural/academic/psychological (CAP) interventions for facilitating learning. To borrow, email
  • Through the eyes of a child : an introductory manual on the impact of family violence for multicultural home/school workers [Book] / Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society. Written for multicultural home/school workers, this guide provides background information on family violence and looks at the impact of family violence on children from immigrant families. To borrow, email
  • Beyond appearances : brief on the main issues facing girls in Canada  [online document] 

7. Deeper Reading

  • Body evidence : intimate violence against South Asian women in America [Book] / [edited by] Shamita Das Dasgupta.  Describes the unique challenges faced by victims of domestic violence in South Asian American communities. It includes social and cultural issues, legal responses and their consequences, and International efforts in anti-domestic violence work. To borrow, email
  • Domestic violence : intersectionality and culturally competent practice / edited by Lettie L. Lockhart and Fran S. Danis.  To borrow, email
  • Speaking the unspeakable : marital violence among South Asian immigrants in the United States / Margaret Abraham. To borrow, email
  • Cross-sector forum and consultation : improving responsiveness of services for immigrant and refugee women experiencing violence : June 2 & 3, 2008 : consultation report / prepared by Linda Light. To borrow, email
  • Cruel but not unusual : violence in Canadian families / Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine, editors. To borrow, email
  • Empowerment of immigrant and refugee women who are victims of violence in their intimate relationships : final report / Justice Institute of British Columbia. To borrow, email
  • Isolated, afraid and forgotten : the service delivery needs and realities of immigrant and refugee women who are battered : a paper / prepared by Linda MacLeod and Maria Shin for the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Health and Welfare Canada. Service delivery needs and realities of immigrant and refugee women who are battered.  To borrow, email
  • Racialized migrant women in Canada : essays on health, violence and equity / edited by Vijay Agnew. vTo borrow, email
  • Nowhere to turn? : responding to partner violence against immigrant and visible minority women / by Ekuwa Smith ; submitted to the Department of Justice, Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD)  To borrow, email
  • Position paper on violence against women without immigration status / [online document] West Coast LEAF. To borrow, email
  • The role of Canadian immigration laws and policies in relation to women's safety : [online document] a lawyer's compendium / EVA BC, Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Services Society (VLMFSS) and MOSAICTo borrow, email
Please visit the BCSTH Library to learn more about resources and information services developed especially for members of the BC Society of Transition Houses, and contact us for more information.

Deb & Tina, Co-Librarians
BC Society of Transition Houses
Vancouver, British Columbia