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When you give an abused woman a chance for a better life, she can escape the violence and begin to rebuild her life. With the right kind of help, tiny steps become giant strides.
When you teach young people about healthy relationships, they learn to recognize the early warning signs of abuse. They stay safer on dates. And the schools that offer the programs report less bullying.
In 2011, we will help stop the violence by investing $2 million in the following types of programs:
These school-based projects help to stop the intergenerational cycle of violence by teaching young people about dating violence, gender stereotypes, sexual harassment, and how to create safe and healthy relationships.
Women who have escaped domestic violence begin to rebuild their lives through counselling, legal advice, and safety planning. They receive help finding a new place to live. Their children receive counselling that helps them cope with the aftermath of trauma and avoid becoming future victims or abusers.
When women move out of an emergency shelter, they often need help to stabilize their life and become economically self-sufficient. These safe housing facilities are designed especially for them. Women and their children live in affordable apartments while attending free on-site services such as job search workshops and counselling. Typical stays range from six to eighteen months.
Many women stay with an abuser because they cannot afford to live on their own. With these small interest-free loans women can pay first and last month’s rent, cover security deposits for heat, hydro, and phone, and cover other essential housing costs so they can escape the violence.
These programs help women and girls who are at risk of violence or sexual assault to improve their safety and build their confidence. They learn about violence prevention strategies, setting personal boundaries, gender stereotypes, healthy relationships, body image and eating disorders, substance abuse, stress management, diversity, and media awareness.
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION / SEX TRAFFICKING
Young women who are being sexually exploited can access services to improve their safety and make lifestyle changes. Groups working to address the growing problem of sex trafficking in Canada can offer educational seminars and create new community partnerships.
A growing number of community organizations are building networks to help them coordinate the delivery of services, share their knowledge of promising practices, research new violence prevention approaches, and collaborate on strategies to end violence against women and girls.