Gender-Based Violence: Everyone’s Issue to Address
February 16th, 2017 @ Etobicoke Civic Centre
On February 16th, 2017 Toronto West Local Immigration Partnership’s Women Against Violence Action Group delivered an event titled “Gender-Based Violence: Everyone’s Issue to Address”. This full-day event brought together 70 front-line workers from outside the Violence Against Women Sector to gain useful information, build capacity and explore practical strategies for working with victims of gender-based violence.
The event included a keynote address by Chi Nguyen, Managing Director for White Ribbon’s new social enterprise, and Parker P. Consulting. Chi’s presentation focused on the Why is violence against women, everyone’s issue to address. She drew on her work experiences from her White Ribbon, Ontario Women’s Directorate, Status of Women Canada to promote our message.
Additionally, the following five panelists were invited to introduce the work that their organizations do in the area of gender-based violence, the panelists also participated in a case scenario discussion:
- Fatima Filippi – Executive Director, Rexdale Women’s Centre
- Bobbie McMurrich – Assistant Executive Director, Victims Services Toronto
- Talayeh Shomali – Justice Projects Coordinator, METRAC
- Ann-Marie Tupling – Domestic Violence/ Child Abuse Coordinator, Toronto Police
- Anusha Jaura– Domestic Violence Team, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Another highlight of the event is the introduction of the “First Response Toolkit for Frontline Staff”. The toolkit has been collectively put together by the Women Against Violence Action Group members to:
- Respond to clients and situations with sensitivity
- Increase women’s safety
- Provide information on resources and options
- Make effective, timely referrals to specialized services and supports
- Encourage women to take action to stop the violence and begin to take steps towards positive changes in their lives.
After the presentation of the toolkit, the participants were directed to attend one of the following three concurrent workshops of their choice. The same workshops were repeated in the afternoon:
- Skills Building– In this session, participants learnt basics of needs assessment, safety planning, and exist planning for the client facing abuse. It will provide brief introduction on how to see/ analyze warning signs, how to make a safety plan with client as well as an exit plan if necessary.
- Legal Journey– In this session, participants explored the legal rights of those involved in the abusive situation. It will focus on family and child protection laws, spousal support, distribution of assets and immigration laws affecting residency.
- VAW Sector– In this session, participants learnt about the VAW Shelters, referral processes and best practices & professional obligations to disclosures
The event closed with an end-of-the-day plenary in which the presenters of each workshop provided a summary of the session they presented at, including the overall experience of the session and any new insights gained during the discussion.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to all presenters at the event..
Below are the links to the presentation materials:
Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) – http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/webinar/
Immigration Law Booklet – http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/familylawissues/