Canadian Women's Foundation says education programs critical to ending
TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian teens are experiencing dating
violence in record numbers and need help to stay safer. Canadian Women's Foundation, Canada's public foundation for women and girls, is raising funds and
investing in teen healthy relationship programs across Canada, where
youth will learn how to stop the violence - for good.
"Dating violence is a frightening reality for Canadian teens from coast
to coast to coast," states Dr. Claire Crooks, Canadian Women's
Foundation Board Member and a lead developer and researcher of the
Canadian Women's Foundation funded Fourth R, a healthy relationship-based program aimed at preventing violence and
related risk behaviours in adolescents. "When we look at the
glorification of violence against women in popular culture and the peer
dynamics of adolescents, it is not surprising that jealousy and control
can been seen as signs of devotion and caring, not abuse."
Canadian Women's Foundation has invested in teen school-based and
community healthy relationship programs for more than 15 years, and has
recently received funding from Status of Women Canada to develop a
national learning strategy on teen healthy relationships. In the teen
healthy relationship programs, skills are taught through a combination
of classroom work and discussion that draw on healthy relationship
foundations, boundary setting, gender stereotypes, preventing dating
violence and assertive communication. Many of the programs incorporate
important leadership opportunities for teens to co-facilitate the
"Working with teens to focus on violence prevention is critical to make
a long term impact on ending abuse in Canada" says Beverley Wybrow, CEO
of the Canadian Women's Foundation. "By investing in programs that
teach boys and girls how to recognize the signs of abuse and how to get
help, we are providing them with the tools that create healthy
relationships and allow them to make safe choices throughout their
lifetime. We believe these programs should be in every single high
school in Canada."
Teen healthy relationship programs are transforming both relationships
and school cultures. A recent evaluation of programs funded by the Canadian Women's Foundation, conducted by Dr.
Leslie Tutty of the University of Calgary, revealed that 90 percent of
students said the programs taught them how to keep their relationships
healthy, even years after leaving school. More than 60 percent said
that the programs influenced their choice in partners, or helped them
decide to leave an unhealthy relationship.
"The program helped me learn how to recognize healthy and unhealthy
relationships and how to overcome possible problems and issues that
could lead to an unhealthy relationship. I now feel more comfortable
with my surroundings and more confident that I will make responsible
and healthy decisions throughout the future," states grade 11 student, Hannah Gillis. Hannah took part in the
school-based, Canadian Women's Foundation funded, Healthy Relationships for Youth program in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
On Feb 22nd-25th, 2012, the Canadian Women's Foundation is holding the first national
teen healthy relationship event of its size - the National Skills
Institute on Teen Healthy Relationship Programming in Toronto. This
three day event will bring together youth leaders, community experts,
teachers, school administrators and policy makers from across the
nation to learn about best practices and develop new program strategies
for teen healthy relationship programs as a violence prevention
strategy in Canada. The Skills Institute is part of a larger Canadian
Women's Foundation national learning strategy on teen healthy
relationships, funded by Status of Women Canada.
About Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women
and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of
violence, out of poverty and into confidence. Since 1991, we've raised
money and invested in over 1,100 community programs across Canada, and
are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We
take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical
issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to
create long-term change and bring community organizations together for
training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the
programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work.
We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other
women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more
prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the power of women and
the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org
Editors Note: When referring to the Canadian Women's Foundation, please
use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.
SOURCE Canadian Women's Foundation
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