The BC Society of Transition Houses envisions communities free from violence for all women, children and youth.
BCSTH is a member-based organization that, through leadership, education, support and collaboration, enhances the continuum of services and strategies to respond to, prevent and end violence against women, children and youth.
BCSTH approaches anti-violence work through an intersectional feminist framework, incorporating a critical lens to the systems of power and oppression.
BCSTH is committed to upholding the following principles while striving to achieve our mission and vision:
BCSTH, originally known as the BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses, began in 1978 with 6 members dedicated to providing shelter and support to women and their children fleeing violence and abuse. BCYSTH became formally incorporated as a society in 1984. Its name changed to the BC Society of Transition Houses in 2010 when the Yukon moved to form its own coalition.
The mandate of BCSTH was then, as it is now, to support its membership and work to prevent violence against women and their children through public education, advocacy, training and other direct supports to its members.
BCSTH played a crucial role in linking transition houses in different parts of the province during the early years of the transition house movement in BC, so that women and children could receive the support they needed in different parts of the province. BC’s first five transition houses were located in Coquitlam, Langley, Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria.
In 1992, BCSTH launched its flagship counselling program for children and youth, Children Who Witness Abuse (CWWA), which was developed in response to concerns raised by transition house workers that longer term supports were needed for children and youth after leaving shelters. In 2017, CWWA was renamed Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling and Empowerment (PEACE).
Today, BCSTH supports an extensive network of member organizations that represent anti-violence workers throughout British Columbia who provide services in women’s transitional housing, safe homes and PEACE counselling programs for children and youth. Their services are making a difference in thousands of lives each day.