University of Western Ontario's Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Chil

November 24, 2008 10:28 ET

NEIGHBOURS, FRIENDS AND FAMILIES ENGAGES MEN TO STOP ABUSE

Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign aims to supply Canadians everywhere with the tools necessary to prevent future violence against women.

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO/MEDIA ADVISORY WOMAN ABUSE--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2008) - When Canadians remember the 14 young women murdered at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal this December 6, it will be with sorrow and regret. But there may also be hope, thanks to a campaign called Neighbours, Friends and Families (NFF). A partnership between the government of Ontario and the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children, Neighbours, Friends and Families is an innovative campaign that focuses not on statistics to effect change, but on action and awareness. And its target audience is not just women who are abused, but also concerned fathers, brothers, uncles, and others in their community.

"As me we care about the women in our lives, our mothers, sisters, aunts and friends. We want to do everything we can to make sure that these women are safe and respected. Bringing an end to woman abuse requires our involvement," says Alfredo Marroquin, Provincial Coordinator for the NFF campaign.

Neighbours, Friends and Families aims to supply Canadians everywhere with the tools necessary to prevent future violence against women. Campaign materials are provided to self-identified community leaders, who are encouraged to use and adapt the materials for their local community. The community focus derives from the idea that those who are the closest to abused women and men who abuse are in a unique position to provide support. Community members often report that they knew about or suspected a family member or friend was experiencing abuse, but did not know how to best assist her, or how to help him make changes in his abusive behaviour. Studies show that talking to abusive men is critical to ending woman abuse; Neighbours, Friends and Families also recommends services to help men who abuse.

Peter Aharan, Executive Director of St. Leonard's Community Services London Region (SLCS), has found the Neighbours, Friends and Families program to be a vital tool in the prevention of woman abuse. "This is a program that speaks not just to woman, but to all persons that are affected by woman abuse, including and especially men. The messaging is unique and is presented in an inclusive manner that is easy to comprehend and encourages action."

Currently operating in over 140 communities in Ontario, Neighbours, Friends and Families is a community-driven grassroots campaign to raise awareness of the signs of woman abuse. Neighbours, Friends and Families is supported by the Ontario government and facilitated by the University of Western Ontario's Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children. The NFF campaign makes information available to enable people close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man so they can help. Information is available in over 12 languages, with additional resources for Francophone and Aboriginal communities.

For more information: www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca
/For further information: For more information: www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca

MEDIA CONTACT: Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc., (416) 484-9047, victoria@vlpr.com
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Contact Information

  • Victoria Lord, President, Victoria Lord Public Relations Inc.
    Primary Phone: 416-484-9047
    Secondary Phone: 647-519-8577
    E-mail: victoria@vlpr.com