Ontario Invests in Preventing Violence Against Aboriginal Women

Archived Release

Ontario Invests in Preventing Violence Against Aboriginal Women

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Launching Aboriginal version of successful Neighbours, Friends and Families Campaign QUEEN'S PARK, Nov. 23 - To address violence against Aboriginal women, the McGuinty government is funding an Aboriginal adapted version of the successful Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign announced Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Deb Matthews. "The rate of violence against Aboriginal women is triple that of non-Aboriginal women," said Matthews. "This campaign developed by Aboriginal peoples for Aboriginal peoples will help communities understand what they're seeing and know how to take action." The McGuinty government has provided $476,000 over two years to the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres to implement the Kanawayhitowin campaign in Aboriginal communities across Ontario. The campaign, developed by an Aboriginal Expert Panel, is based on traditional Aboriginal teachings and is designed to give people who are close to at-risk woman or an abuser the information they need to prevent further escalation of the violence or to stop it. "Given the levels of violence that Aboriginal women experience, it is important that we work together to address this crisis. Kanawayhitowin will provide us with some additional tools to stop the violence and begin the healing," said Sylvia Maracle, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres. "I am delighted with the support for our initiative and recognize it as one more demonstration of the Ontario government's sincere desire to begin to address violence against Aboriginal women." The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign has been launched in more than 70 communities. These campaigns are part of the McGuinty government's $82 million Domestic Violence Action Plan to provide better community-based supports, implement public education and training strategies, strengthen Ontario' criminal and family justice systems and provide better access to French-language services. Working together with community partners, the McGuinty government has achieved results in preventing violence against women and their children by: - Spending more than $190 million annually to provide violence against women services across government - Funding $5.9 million over four years for training, research and conferences to assist professionals in recognizing the signs of domestic violence and provide appropriate supports and referrals - Launching the Equality Rules public education campaign, which teaches youth ages 8 to 14 about healthy, equal and respectful relationships to help break the cycle of violence before it starts. For more information, visit www.equalityrules.ca. "Women have a fundamental right to be safe and secure in their own homes and in their communities," said Matthews. "By working with our community partners, we will build stronger, safer communities." The month of November marks Woman Abuse Prevention Month. More information can be found about the month on www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd. Disponible en français www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd Contact Info For further information: Stephanie Kupiec, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3394; Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Stephanie Kupiec, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3394; Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010