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February 3, 2016
For immediate release
Committee releases updated strategy for Family Violence Prevention
Family and Human Services
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“This strategy provides an avenue to work with our partners towards prevention beyond reaction and intervention after violence has occurred,” said Ms. Sherman. “It is not enough to only focus on the individual’s violence if their family, friends and partners still use violence, if their community tolerates violence or if there is a social climate where violence is accepted. We need to engage members of the public from all walks of life to help prevent, respond to and reduce family violence in Prince Edward Island.”
The updated Premiers Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention Strategies for Addressing Family Violence in Prince Edward Island provides a framework to address family violence with a number of goals and strategies in key areas:
• Awareness, education, and engagement
• Coordination and training
• Interventions and service delivery
• Policy, protocols, and legislation • Research and evaluation
Implementation of this strategy will be guided by the Premier’s Action Committee and its partners.
“We believe that we now have the pieces in place to take this strategy to the next level,” said Ms. Sherman. “This is an ongoing commitment and we expect to achieve successes in a number of areas over the next five years. Implementation will require a commitment from all partners including government, the community and individuals to understand that we all have a role to play to help put an end to family violence in Prince Edward Island.”
More information on family violence prevention and the newly Premiers Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention updated Strategy are available at www.stopfamilyviolence.pe.ca.
Updated Strategy of the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention Strategy: Strategies for Addressing Family Violence in Prince Edward Island
The Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention was first appointed by the premier of Prince Edward Island in December 1995. The Committee has been nationally recognized as a model of government and community engagement. The ultimate goal is to engage all Islanders with the understanding that family violence affects everyone, is everyone's responsibility, and requires the cooperation of neighbours, friends, and family. As a consulting and advising body of government, PAC brings together a key group of neighbours, friends, and family with a commitment to preventing violence.
For the third time since its inception, the committee has updated its strategy. The strategy is based on past consultations involving many Islanders and the continuing work of the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention and its member organizations. The strategy provides a basis for action planning and actions. The goals and strategies PAC members have set out in the renewed strategy will allow PAC to share our best informed strategies for prevention with community and government.
A society where all individuals are safe, respected and valued; where any form of violence is unacceptable; and where children, women and men have opportunities to reach their full potential and contribute to the overall well being of all families and communities.
The family violence prevention strategy is the main way for the Prince Edward Island government and community to work together towards family violence prevention. The Premier’s Action Committee strategy provides a framework for prevention, with goals and strategies to focus on proactive work to encourage healthy relationships and healthy communities and families. It also sets out goals and strategies for action, intervention, and accountability after violence has occurred; this is also essential to preventing future violence. The main elements of this strategy include; prevention, engagement, education, and service delivery.
Preventing violence from happening in the first place is extremely important. It is not enough to only focus on the individual’s violence if their family, friends and partners still use violence, if their community tolerates violence or if there is a social climate where violence is accepted. The strategy provides a mechanism from which family violence prevention policies, programs and measures can be created, implemented and sustained. The long-term goal is to prevent family violence from occurring by fostering development and implementation of prevention activities and holding those responsible for family violence accountable for their actions.
The Premier’s Action Committee engages many sectors through its diverse membership, including representatives of police agencies, the community, government, and many others. This new strategy will be a framework for action for the next five years.
The strategy supports and encourages local leadership in sectors such as municipalities, faith groups, corporate, not-for-profit and educational institutions to encourage a holistic approach to family violence prevention. The strategy also promotes effective coordination among service sectors and community in family violence prevention and intervention.
It is aimed at continuing actions that have resulted in success, introducing new initiatives and addressing service gaps. The updated strategy places new emphasis on public engagement, diversity and inclusion, research and evaluation.
Goals in the updated strategy include province-wide awareness and sensitivity about the extent, impact and nature of family violence as well as improved access to information relating to family violence.
Educational efforts will include work with government agencies and community groups to incorporate information on healthy relationships, abuse, and resolving conflict into existing learning opportunities.
The strategy also promotes building on good work already underway for professional education and training for multiple sectors, including front-line responders Training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism should be incorporated in professional development, including training that responds to recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Supporting Service Delivery
The goal is to have high quality and accessible services across the province that addresses the full spectrum of needs of victims’, survivors, families, offenders and communities. The strategy encourages coordination of service delivery and services that are trauma-informed and culturally sensitive. Work is continuing in several areas; removing gaps and barriers in legislation and policy, increased information sharing among services and sectors to meet the complex needs of victims and offenders, and protection of the best interest of children.
The strategy also aims to take advantage of opportunities for evaluation and to work on the creation of a framework for encouraging and supporting PEI-based research on family violence.
The Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention recognizes the importance of a safe Island community and the role everyone can play in making that happen. The theme for Family Violence Prevention week is Neighbours, Friends and Families. More information about this year’s campaign is www.stopfamilyviolence.pe.ca./2016campaign.
The community has become more engaged and aware of the issue of family violence since 1995.
Recent statistics show that most spousal violence victims talked to family and friends about the violence. Aside from reporting the violence to the police or seeking help from formal victims’ services agencies, 68 percent of victims confided in one or more informal sources of support, like a colleague or a neighbour.
Family violence is a public health issue, a criminal justice issue and a human rights issue.
This new strategy- by being built on wide spread community engagement, the education process and prevention policies, programs and measures is the foundation for work to end family violence in the Island community in the coming years.
Family Violence Prevention Week is the first opportunity for Islanders to participate in family violence prevention activities in communities across Prince Edward Island. Actions continue throughout the year through the work of PAC, its members, partners and Working Groups to make Prince Edward Island a society where all individuals are safe, respected, and valued, and have opportunities to reach their full potential.