Statement concerning recent Facebook and Twitter postings

Sep 17, 2019

Recently, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre has been inundated with transphobic messages, comments, and negative reviews on Facebook and Twitter after we confirmed our trans-inclusive stance online in regards to a trans woman who accessed our shelter.

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) strives to provide a safe, secure non-judgmental refuge along with basic need and support services for any and all women [cisgender and transgender] in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  Providing services to over 600 women each day, 7 days a week, DEWC supports a diverse population including Indigenous women, Chinese senior women, single mothers, women with disabilities, women with addictions, and women with mental and/or physical health conditions.  What many women have in common is lack of adequate income, precarious housing situations, lack of access to heath supports, as well as experiencing high levels of violence and racism.

Creating and maintaining low-barrier safe space for all women accessing DEWC services is our priority, particularly for the women who survive with complex trauma, mental health, and/or addiction issues where they are often excluded from shelters and transition houses outside of the Downtown Eastside. It is important to note that trans women are especially marginalized, facing disproportionate abuse and harassment in both co-ed spaces and when accessing women’s services, and have even fewer safe spaces to go.

DEWC stands with all [cis and trans] women of the community continuing our work ensuring women have safe, accessible services and supports. We are committed to women’s safety and will continue to address internally any behavior that compromises the safety and security of women accessing DEWC services. Importantly, we refuse to engage in a dialogue that gives a platform to transphobic groups or individuals or otherwise does damage to women who are transgender.