COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Healthy Relationships: Children and Youth
- Program name:
Violence Is Preventable (VIP) Program
BC Society of Transition Houses
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Target Group:
Children (ages 3 – 18)
- Contact Name:
Rhiannon Wong, Children and Youth Services Coordinator
The program began in 2004. This program is province wide with approximately 200 different Aboriginal Communities in BC participating. The program participation changes each year due to changes in available funding and human resources.
- Goals & Objectives:
To break the silence on domestic violence by making it safe for children and youth to speak up in schools about domestic violence and the issues that impact upon their lives; to increase awareness among teachers, school staff, parents and students about violence in relationships and its effects on children witnessing it; and to facilitate partnerships between schools and communities in order to respond to the emotional, social, academic and psychological needs of children exposed to domestic violence.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Programs are encouraged to consult with local Aboriginal communities in order to ensure their program is culturally appropriate and adapt the VIP program to fit the community they are working in.
- Components of program:
The program offers: awareness presentations to educate the educators, parents and other adults about the risks to children caused by exposure to domestic violence; violence prevention presentations that are designed for classrooms to enable children to learn about domestic violence, unhealthy vs. healthy relationships, and to develop communication skills and self-esteem; and group interventions that consist of multi-week psycho-educational group meetings that offer the support needed to cope with the impact that domestic violence has had on the lives of participants.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
CKNW's Orphans' Fund; British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Parents are informed and asked to consent to their children's participation in the program.
See below link for list.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The vast majority of educators (92%) felt that partnerships such as the one between VIP and school districts are "quite important" or "very important"; youth reported high levels of learning regarding the signs of violence and abuse, the understanding that everyone deserves to feel safe and the availability of resources for victims; and through participation in group interventions, children indicated positive growth throughout the group in the areas of: getting along with other children, listening skills, solving problems without the use of physical aggression, and adult support.
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by: agency support or willingness to deliver the VIP program; continued request for VIP prevention and interventions by schools; the level of support for the program given by the school administration and staff, and parents; and the continued attendance of clients to the program.
The development of partnerships with schools and their continued interest and participation in the program has been a huge success.
Obtaining funding. Overcoming the reluctance of some schools to adopt a program on such a sensitive subject matter has presented challenges.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. People would need to know that the start up time is important to keep in mind when trying to receive support from schools. Training is needed; specifically knowledge concerning children and youth exposed to violence against women.
Adequate funding, support and training are necessary to ensure the program's success.
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