Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's Domestic Violence Month

November 1, 2011


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Development of Multi-year Domestic Violence Strategy, Launch of Awareness Campaign: Mackintosh, Howard
More help for survivors of domestic violence to get on with their lives with an initiative called Moving On – Independence After Domestic Violence was announced today by Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh and Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the status of women.  The ministers were joined by representatives of the Winnipeg Humane Society, Manitoba Veterinarian Medical Association, City of Winnipeg Animal Services, police and other service organizations.
“It often takes more than just making up your mind to leave an abusive relationship,” said Mackintosh.  “Today, the province and several community organizations are enhancing services so victims don’t feel trapped in a violent relationship and can start a new life.”
He said Moving On – Independence After Domestic Violence comprises:
  • Safe Pet – a leading-edge shelter program for family pets while survivors transition from abusive situations, based on findings that people don’t feel comfortable leaving a relationship if a pet is left behind and that children experience further trauma when a pet is left at risk in the home;
  • Moving On and Managing Your Money – Canada’s first comprehensive guide and website to help survivors avoid common money problems and help achieve independence;
  • evening and weekend counselling security upgrades – the installation of closed circuit TV monitoring and digital video recording at women’s resource centres for safer off-hours counselling programs ($26,500);
  • one victim, one support worker – for continuity of supports, a counsellor will be designated to help victims before or after charges are laid by co-ordinating the work of the Domestic Violence Intervention Unit and the Domestic Violence Support Service in Manitoba Justice; and
  • early lease termination – will now be available to victims of domestic violence or stalking so they can get out of an abusive home or an at-risk location with just one month’s or one rental period’s notice, rather than at the end of the lease, recognizing that victims might otherwise postpone leaving their home because of lease obligations.
Howard also announced the province is launching a public consultation in January for a renewal of its comprehensive multi-year domestic violence strategy.
“The strategy will include new approaches dealing with safety and supports for victims and families, interventions for perpetrators, enhanced stakeholder collaboration and co-ordination, public awareness and prevention as well as service provider training,” Howard said.
Called Safer Today, Stronger Tomorrow, the strategy will also contain a women’s shelter and residential program modernization action plan, said Howard.  To advise on action plan priorities, the province is creating a task force comprised of shelter expertise from outside the province, representatives from Manitoba Housing, the Family Violence Prevention Program and the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, which will review facility and program needs with agencies.
The place and time of public consultations on Safer Today, Stronger Tomorrow will be announced and the final strategy will be unveiled this spring, Howard said.
Two public awareness strategies were also launched today as part of Domestic Violence Prevention Month.  One is a multi-media message that “Without help, abuse only gets worse”.  The other is a new radio feature by Manitoba’s consortium of domestic violence service providers on the impact of domestic violence on family members.
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