Building a Bigger Wave, the Ontario Network for
VAW Coordinating Committees
Learn more about us below and see our Guidelines for Working Together
The Building a Bigger Wave Ontario Network (BBW) is a feminist-based network of passionate professionals and advocates who believe it is vital to to support and strengthen Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees (VAWCCs). VAWCCS are the only multi-sector tables that hold the focus on gender-based violence in their communities. They are existing infrastructure with experience and expertise that can propel change.
In Ontario, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) funds 48 local committees across the province. As such, VAWCCs can be critical players in a larger strategy to engage everyone in the province of Ontario to end violence against women, children and gender-diverse people. BBW leadership believes that ending sexual and domestic violence in all its forms is a shared responsibility.
We are committed to ongoing learning and shared leadership to achieve collective impact on this most complex and destructive global epidemic. BBW is only one piece in a much larger picture of people working together to create a peaceful and just world.
BBW currently has two coordinators who manage overall network activities and projects. Most of the work is done on a volunteer basis. Donations and occasional project funding support events and initiatives. Because there is no funder, BBW has the freedom to decide activities and priorities identified in the network.
BBW connects Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees (VAWCCs) across the province. BBW does not represent any committee, community or single perspective. Instead, BBW strives to make different voices and local leadership more visible. As such, the multi-sector network can function as a circulatory system for the GBV-VAW sector, linking communities and initiatives, working in partnership with other networks and willing governments under a common agenda to end violence against women, children and gender-diverse people on a wide variety of issues and topics.
BBW activities include:
BBW is committed to feminist, anti-racist, anti-oppressive values and principles. Everyone is included. We focus on women as a political class, as fully half of the population that has always experienced the structural violence of sexism in a patriarchal, industrial age-bound, imperialist, neo-liberal social system. Intersections with race, class, sexual orientation, gender, ability, age, immigration, geographic location further disadvantage and oppress women and gender-diverse people. Yes, there is progress, but women's lives, women's bodies and the vital work that women do in the 'care economy' remains steadfastly devalued, unpaid, underpaid, exploited. It is still a male dominated global economy that is dependent on the exploitation, domination and control of women. Sound familiar? Women will always be second-class citizens in this fundamentally abusive relationship that values profits over people and uses women's (reproductive and care) labour to keep it all going. Mother Earth fares about the same.
Nothing less than a global reset of capitalism is needed to redistribute the incredible wealth being hoarded by a very few number of men. This is structural transformation that we need to address the deeply rooted inequity of sexism that creates the conditions for gender-based violence. The direction for how we can move forward is found in the voices and stories of the people pushed to the margins of society. They can lead because they are the least invested in maintaining the status quo. We need the honesty, critical reflection, wisdom and guidance to get right with ourselves, individually and collectively. It has to happen if we are to survive as a species.
The Southwest Region VAW Coordinating Committee (SWRCC) serves as the steering committee for BBW. SWRCC is a voluntary regional committee comprised of representatives and allies from 10 local committees in the southwest region of Ontario. SWRCC has been meeting monthly since 2005.
Prior to the pandemic, BBW had an advisory team that met four times a year. The Coordinators Network has subsequently evolved to serve as an advisory body. They meet monthly between September and June.