Menu

Violence against women becomes Canadian reality

May 29, 2013 - All News

Community-based event initiates important cross-sectorial dialogue exploring characteristics of violence manifested in the diversity of South Asian communities
 
By NOUMAN KHALIL
Staff Writer
Violence against women has become a reality in the wider Canadian society while inequality is embedded in institutions and cultures, reveals Impact of Family Violence Conference 2013.
“Family violence and violence against women is not unique to the South Asian community. All communities, socio-cultural and economic strata, experience their own manifestation of violence against women, seniors and children,” said Naila Butt, executive director of Social Services Network, while addressing the participants of the conference. “The concepts of honour, religion and culture provide an easy, simplistic explanation to the complex problems faced by South Asian families in Canada.”
The 3rd annual Impact of Family Violence Conference: A South Asian Perspective, which is an initiative of Social Services Network, was held recently at Sheridan Campus in Brampton in partnership with Sheridan College, Peel Regional Police, United Way of Peel Region, India Rainbow Community Services of Peel, Peel Children’s Aid Society, York Children’s Aid Society, Toronto Police Services, York Regional Police, Peel District School Board, Victim Witness Assistance Program and CBC.
More than 500 participants, including leaders, law enforcement officials, community members, family support workers and representatives from a diverse range of organizations from across Ontario and Canada took part in the two-day conference.
The community-based event initiated an important cross-sectorial dialogue exploring the characteristics of violence manifested in the diversity of South Asian communities.
“What we are witnessing is a different type of patriarchy that uses the weapons of ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ to justify and legitimize it,” said Butt. “But patriarchy by any other name is still a patriarchy.”
Impact of Family Violence – A South Asian Perspective Conference is a five-year initiative led by the Social Services Network and the Family Violence Conference Steering Committee.
The conference kicked off its inaugural year in 2011 in partnership with York, Toronto, Peel and Durham Regional Police Services and Children Aids Society of York Region hosted the first annual conference at Queen’s Park.
The main objective of the event is to bring together the diverse South Asian community with all those key sectors that are actively involved in violence prevention and response.
It aimed at identifying the kinds of programs, sector-specific training and public education campaigns that are needed to develop and deliver an effective community development strategy for addressing various forms of violence in South Asian families.
This year’s event won widespread support from various cross-sections of society. For instance, popular CBC Toronto news anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake was a co-emcee of the conference.
The event’s keynote speaker was Jasteena Dhillon who, since 1990, has worked in community development and social services in Toronto on violence against women and children, techniques for appropriate police intervention and settlement of immigrants and refugees issues.
Said Butt: “Violence against women in Canadian society is a reality in both the majority and minority cultural groups, across income levels and regions. Unequal power relation is at the core of women, children, youth, and seniors. And that inequality is embedded in our institutions and culture.
“Violence is used as a way of controlling women and others, both in families and in the wider society,” Butt added.
She said it happens all over the world to various degrees, but since the dynamics of violence that occur in South Asian families differ from the dynamics in the dominant culture, there is a need to develop different kinds of interventions.
Butt said people like police officers, faith leaders, South Asian women, men, youth and seniors, teachers, social workers, child protection workers and media can make a difference.
The first of five series conference focused on recognizing the nature of domestic violence in South Asian families while the second year focused on examining areas and/or needs to be developed within various areas.
Each year the conference take up issues based on the results of the previous conference with an attempt to move beyond an examination and reflection of the nature of violence in South Asian families and the barriers that keep individuals from seeking help.
The event stressed the need for public education campaigns aimed at countering racism and stereotypes of South Asian as well as share information on violence against women and elders and child abuse.
Last year’s conference included testimonials from survivors — men, women and youth — workshops, presentations and discussion forums that provided the opportunity to learn more about the issues of family violence with a particular focus on its occurrence in South Asian communities.
This year’s conference however included sector specific training and legal workshops for organizations who support women, children, youth, immigrants, and elders, as well as groups that work to end violence against women, children and elders along with police, social services, ethno-cultural and faith-based organizations.
At Davis Campus of Sheridan College, the two sessions of six concurrent workshops took place each day.
Several pre-conference meetings and trainings also occurred for workshop facilitators, scribes, faith panelists, town hall experts, musical performances, and keynote speakers prior to the conference.
Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall of Ontario Human Rights Commission also spoke on the occasion.
The conference concluded with a theater performance by Youth Troopers for Global Awareness and a Soundscape created by LAL Inc. and youth from the youth workshop.
Key Findings
The important issues and barriers identified in the conference include:
* Religion and culture are often used to justify and excuse violence and keep women oppressed
* Violence has a negative impact on the whole family
* In South Asian families, victims want the violence to be stopped but usually they don’t take direct action, fearing the family will be torn apart
* South Asian women experiencing abuse in the family don’t actively seek help due to various reasons:
a)    Fear they’ll be stigmatized and ostracized from their community;
b)    Fear they’ll bring shame to their family;
c)    Fear they may jeopardize their immigration status;
d)    Fear of losing their children and preservation of the family;
e)    They lack knowledge of health, social services and judicial system.
* Violence and abuse in South Asian families is rooted in complex family dynamics and broader systemic barriers. These dynamics differ from the dominant mainstream culture and therefore demand different kind of interventions and approaches.

Read More at SouthAsianFocus.ca

Violence against women becomes Canadian reality

May 29, 2013 - All News

Community-based event initiates important cross-sectorial dialogue exploring characteristics of violence manifested in the diversity of South Asian communities
 
By NOUMAN KHALIL
Staff Writer
Violence against women has become a reality in the wider Canadian society while inequality is embedded in institutions and cultures, reveals Impact of Family Violence Conference 2013.
“Family violence and violence against women is not unique to the South Asian community. All communities, socio-cultural and economic strata, experience their own manifestation of violence against women, seniors and children,” said Naila Butt, executive director of Social Services Network, while addressing the participants of the conference. “The concepts of honour, religion and culture provide an easy, simplistic explanation to the complex problems faced by South Asian families in Canada.”
The 3rd annual Impact of Family Violence Conference: A South Asian Perspective, which is an initiative of Social Services Network, was held recently at Sheridan Campus in Brampton in partnership with Sheridan College, Peel Regional Police, United Way of Peel Region, India Rainbow Community Services of Peel, Peel Children’s Aid Society, York Children’s Aid Society, Toronto Police Services, York Regional Police, Peel District School Board, Victim Witness Assistance Program and CBC.
More than 500 participants, including leaders, law enforcement officials, community members, family support workers and representatives from a diverse range of organizations from across Ontario and Canada took part in the two-day conference.
The community-based event initiated an important cross-sectorial dialogue exploring the characteristics of violence manifested in the diversity of South Asian communities.
“What we are witnessing is a different type of patriarchy that uses the weapons of ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ to justify and legitimize it,” said Butt. “But patriarchy by any other name is still a patriarchy.”
Impact of Family Violence – A South Asian Perspective Conference is a five-year initiative led by the Social Services Network and the Family Violence Conference Steering Committee.
The conference kicked off its inaugural year in 2011 in partnership with York, Toronto, Peel and Durham Regional Police Services and Children Aids Society of York Region hosted the first annual conference at Queen’s Park.
The main objective of the event is to bring together the diverse South Asian community with all those key sectors that are actively involved in violence prevention and response.
It aimed at identifying the kinds of programs, sector-specific training and public education campaigns that are needed to develop and deliver an effective community development strategy for addressing various forms of violence in South Asian families.
This year’s event won widespread support from various cross-sections of society. For instance, popular CBC Toronto news anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake was a co-emcee of the conference.
The event’s keynote speaker was Jasteena Dhillon who, since 1990, has worked in community development and social services in Toronto on violence against women and children, techniques for appropriate police intervention and settlement of immigrants and refugees issues.
Said Butt: “Violence against women in Canadian society is a reality in both the majority and minority cultural groups, across income levels and regions. Unequal power relation is at the core of women, children, youth, and seniors. And that inequality is embedded in our institutions and culture.
“Violence is used as a way of controlling women and others, both in families and in the wider society,” Butt added.
She said it happens all over the world to various degrees, but since the dynamics of violence that occur in South Asian families differ from the dynamics in the dominant culture, there is a need to develop different kinds of interventions.
Butt said people like police officers, faith leaders, South Asian women, men, youth and seniors, teachers, social workers, child protection workers and media can make a difference.
The first of five series conference focused on recognizing the nature of domestic violence in South Asian families while the second year focused on examining areas and/or needs to be developed within various areas.
Each year the conference take up issues based on the results of the previous conference with an attempt to move beyond an examination and reflection of the nature of violence in South Asian families and the barriers that keep individuals from seeking help.
The event stressed the need for public education campaigns aimed at countering racism and stereotypes of South Asian as well as share information on violence against women and elders and child abuse.
Last year’s conference included testimonials from survivors — men, women and youth — workshops, presentations and discussion forums that provided the opportunity to learn more about the issues of family violence with a particular focus on its occurrence in South Asian communities.
This year’s conference however included sector specific training and legal workshops for organizations who support women, children, youth, immigrants, and elders, as well as groups that work to end violence against women, children and elders along with police, social services, ethno-cultural and faith-based organizations.
At Davis Campus of Sheridan College, the two sessions of six concurrent workshops took place each day.
Several pre-conference meetings and trainings also occurred for workshop facilitators, scribes, faith panelists, town hall experts, musical performances, and keynote speakers prior to the conference.
Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall of Ontario Human Rights Commission also spoke on the occasion.
The conference concluded with a theater performance by Youth Troopers for Global Awareness and a Soundscape created by LAL Inc. and youth from the youth workshop.
Key Findings
The important issues and barriers identified in the conference include:
* Religion and culture are often used to justify and excuse violence and keep women oppressed
* Violence has a negative impact on the whole family
* In South Asian families, victims want the violence to be stopped but usually they don’t take direct action, fearing the family will be torn apart
* South Asian women experiencing abuse in the family don’t actively seek help due to various reasons:
a)    Fear they’ll be stigmatized and ostracized from their community;
b)    Fear they’ll bring shame to their family;
c)    Fear they may jeopardize their immigration status;
d)    Fear of losing their children and preservation of the family;
e)    They lack knowledge of health, social services and judicial system.
* Violence and abuse in South Asian families is rooted in complex family dynamics and broader systemic barriers. These dynamics differ from the dominant mainstream culture and therefore demand different kind of interventions and approaches.

Read More at SouthAsianFocus.ca