MCIS launched in 1989 with a commitment to provide victims of domestic abuse with the language access they need to get help, to get justice, and to build a better life for them and their families. Since then, MCIS has expanded its mandate to to ensure that all people facing language marginalization have access to critical information and services. But we’ve never forgotten our roots. One of our major mandates remains to facilitate the provision of language services to people escaping domestic violence, and we have also expanded our advocacy for women into other programs.
One of our most popular programs is the Human Trafficking Training Program. While human trafficking like domestic violence is not an issue that is by any means exclusive to women, women and girls represent the majority of victims and are more likely to face secondary and intersectional forms of abuse and marginalization. Likewise, while not all victims of human trafficking face a language marginalization, those who do are more likely to face additional obstacles in getting help. The Human Trafficking Training Program represents MCIS’ belief that while language is central to understanding and to accessing critical information and services, true access and understanding requires more. Therefore, the program provides the cultural and contextual information that people need to identify potential victims, and to provide meaningful intervention and assistance to those victims.
MCIS is also very proud to have provided translation services for the Your Choice Toronto initiative, which provides information to victims of sexual assault about their options. Whether or not someone chooses to report the assault to the police, they deserve to access healthcare and support, and this strategy provides vital information about how to access the help they want and need in 11 languages.
We are so proud to be a part of a network of support for the brave women escaping abuse, and we will continue to be active in women’s action and advocacy. This includes serving on more than 10 community working groups focused on women’s issues, as well as supporting community events like Take Back the Night in York Region coming up this September.
We are grateful for all of our partners, including service providers and language professionals who choose to work with MCIS, for making this work possible.