Allies in Action Project
The Allies in Action Project (AIA)
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The Allies in Action Project (AIA) is a community education initiative funded by the Department of Justice Canada and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. It provides information and awareness about domestic/family violence to newcomer men, women and youth. The project also establishes relationships with faith organizations and ethno-cultural associations, which are not traditionally included in domestic/family abuse dialogue. Overall, the project’s aim was to help break the cycle of abuse by building capacity and knowledge through community education within Greater Victoria.
AIA is a response to the Preventing and Responding to Domestic Violence (PRDV) project, also funded by the Department of Justice. A legal information booklet was completed as one of the deliverables of PRDV. The AIA project was developed under the supervision of Keri Greenidge, former Project Coodinator and Program Manager of Immigrant Women’s Projects at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS). The project continues and will be concluded under the supervision of the current Program Manager, Megan Bahremand.
Any questions about this project should be directed to Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.361.9433 ext.202.
Key Project Objectives
Some of the project’s objectives include:
- To encourage community education partners and newcomers to build capacity in their awareness and education about domestic/family violence and the impact on the family.
- To address community service gaps that leave newcomers unable to access information related to Canadian laws and legal processes in basic and understandable format.
- To educate men, women and youth on how to prevent and respond to domestic/family violence.
- To promote safety within the family, specifically, victim safety of newcomer women.
- To deliver relevant and timely information through culturally attuned activities, workshops, and discussions.
Project objectives are described in more detail in the Appendix, below.
This VIRCS’ project collaborates with faith based organisations and ethno-cultural associations based in Greater Victoria. The project partners include: BC Muslim Women’s Association, Gurdwara Temple, African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI), Bridges for Women, and the Cridge Centre for the Family. AIA is also supported by the University of Victoria Department of Psychology faculty and students.
The project deliverables were:
- To create a culturally competent workshop curriculum package consisting of 18 workshops delivered from April to October 2018, and including handouts and fact sheets;
- To establish relationships with four faith and ethno-cultural organisations/respected members in Greater Victoria; and
- To develop innovative and creative workshop approaches and delivery.
Workshop Curriculum Topics Delivered
Below are the topics that were covered throughout the workshop series for Allies in Action. An information sheet with corresponding resources for each topic can be found by clicking on the topic heading.
- Canadian Law: Living Safe as a Family in Canada
- Child-Centred Parenting in Canada
- Masculinity in a Canadian Context
- What is Abuse in Family Relationships?
- Adjusting to Family Life in Canada
- Exploring Healthy Family Relationships
- Building a Support Network in a New Country
- Canadian Law: Some Dos and Don’ts in Canada
- Parenting: Children’s Minds
- Parents: Taking Care of Yourself
- Emergency Preparedness
- Canadian Medical System
(Note: Some topics were covered more than once, and in different ways, such as a field trip to a social service provider and/or community agency.)
Overall Objectives for Allies in Action Project
- To encourage community partners and front-line workers to think critically about how family/domestic violence affects newcomer women and men.
- To address current community service gaps that leave newcomers unable to access information related to Canadian laws and legal processes in a basic and understandable format.
- To promote the safety, specifically victim safety, of newcomer women by informing them of their options and supporting their decision-making process.
- To educate often absent targets of domestic abuse information (men and youth, ethno-cultural community organizations, and religious community service organizations) on how to prevent and respond to family/domestic violence against newcomer women.
- To create culturally competent workshops focusing on prevention, that recognizes the diversity of needs within and among newcomer communities and provides workshops to newcomer groups to reduce the rates of family/domestic violence and to increase general knowledge of laws and legal processes in Canada.
- To deliver workshops that caters to the unique needs of newcomer men, women, and youth.
- To deliver relevant and timely information through culturally attuned activities and discussions that take migration, settlement, and legal status into account.
- To assist organizations in developing positive, culturally sensitive, and respectful approaches when addressing family/domestic violence.
- To include men in project activities to support the development of a safe environment and violence prevention.
- To empower women and girls through awareness raising activities and support services.
- To understand the manner in which newcomer men and women understand, experience, and give meaning to domestic violence, to help develop appropriate capacity building activities.