Ontario Invests in Preventing Violence Against Aboriginal Women

    Launching Aboriginal version of successful Neighbours, Friends and
    Families Campaign

    QUEEN'S PARK, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - To address violence against Aboriginal
women, the McGuinty government is funding an Aboriginal adapted version of the
successful Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign announced Minister
Responsible for Women's Issues, Deb Matthews.
    "The rate of violence against Aboriginal women is triple that of
non-Aboriginal women," said Matthews. "This campaign developed by Aboriginal
peoples for Aboriginal peoples will help communities understand what they're
seeing and know how to take action."
    The McGuinty government has provided $476,000 over two years to the
Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres to implement the
Kanawayhitowin campaign in Aboriginal communities across Ontario. The
campaign, developed by an Aboriginal Expert Panel, is based on traditional
Aboriginal teachings and is designed to give people who are close to at-risk
woman or an abuser the information they need to prevent further escalation of
the violence or to stop it.
    "Given the levels of violence that Aboriginal women experience, it is
important that we work together to address this crisis. Kanawayhitowin will
provide us with some additional tools to stop the violence and begin the
healing," said Sylvia Maracle, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of
Indian Friendship Centres. "I am delighted with the support for our initiative
and recognize it as one more demonstration of the Ontario government's sincere
desire to begin to address violence against Aboriginal women."
    The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign has been launched in more
than 70 communities. These campaigns are part of the McGuinty government's
$82 million Domestic Violence Action Plan to provide better community-based
supports, implement public education and training strategies, strengthen
Ontario' criminal and family justice systems and provide better access to
French-language services.

    Working together with community partners, the McGuinty government has
achieved results in preventing violence against women and their children by:

    -   Spending more than $190 million annually to provide violence against
        women services across government
    -   Funding $5.9 million over four years for training, research and
        conferences to assist professionals in recognizing the signs of
        domestic violence and provide appropriate supports and referrals
    -   Launching the Equality Rules public education campaign, which teaches
        youth ages 8 to 14 about healthy, equal and respectful relationships
        to help break the cycle of violence before it starts. For more
        information, visit www.equalityrules.ca.

    "Women have a fundamental right to be safe and secure in their own homes
and in their communities," said Matthews. "By working with our community
partners, we will build stronger, safer communities."
    The month of November marks Woman Abuse Prevention Month. More information
can be found about the month on www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Stephanie Kupiec, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3394; Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010

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