COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Healing and Renewal of Family Roles and Responsibilities
- Program name:
Men's Family Violence Program
- Target Group:
Men (Victims of violence and offenders).
- Contact Name:
Sandra Montour, Executive Director
The Men's program was established in 1990. It was Ganohkwasra's third program and began with one worker. Since then, the program has grown in scope and employs 3 men's counsellors.
- Goals & Objectives:
To provide, through a non-profit charitable organization, for the stabilization, maintenance, revitalization and enhancement of the family structure in a culturally sensitive manner.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Traditional Haudenosaunee teachings are central to all counselling.
- Components of program:
The shelter at Ganohkwasra services both men and women who seek shelter from violent situations. Much of the men's program is devoted to working through feelings of shame. Men sometimes feel they are showing weakness as victims of violence and that they are supposed to be strong enough to get through it independently. Men sometimes feel talking about feelings isn't masculine. The men's program also serves men who have been abusive. Clients are treated in both group and individual sessions that seek to combine mainstream counselling techniques with Ogweho:weh teachings. Through these sessions men learn about the effects of violence on children, boundaries, what abuse is, healthy relationships, building resources, how to stay safe, the impacts of drugs and alcohol on family violence, legal rights and responsibilities, working with the Children's Aid Society, coping skills and more. Counselling is offered in two levels, level 1 is psycho-educational (12 weeks), and Level 2 is intensive (inner-child).
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy; and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The men sometimes bring in their wives for counselling too. Both the Six Nations Band Council and Haudenosaunee Confederacy have seats on the Ganohkwasra Board of Directors. Ganohkwasra has particularly strong ties to the Confederacy who sends people to Ganohkwasra to cleanse the building, speak to clients, and open and close speaking sessions.
Native Horizons Sweat Lodge.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The report was not made available publicly, and no specific results can be provided.
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by the length of the waiting lists; how often the programs are utilized; and from feedback given by the community.
Men are living more peaceful and violence-free lives once they graduate from the program.
There are long waiting lists for clients to access the program. Overcoming male stereotypes that make it difficult for men to seek out help is a challenge for potential clients.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
Although aspects of the program could be replicated, the program in its entirety cannot. The program is deeply rooted in Haudenosaunee culture which offers a unique approach and allows counsellors to teach under a cultural framework through traditional teachings. The concept of each person's duality is central.
Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.
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