Canada Still Has Work to Do

Woman walks alone down a road with tall trees surrounding both sidesApproximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Let that sink in. If you think we have achieved gender equality, it’s time to think again.

Women abuse is still a prevalent issue in our country, one that affects everyone. In fact, 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical sexual abuse.

Making Consent Feel Natural

Young couple listening to music.What should consent look like? Some argue that consent must be acquired and provided clearly and explicitly prior to any sexual activity, while others believe that while consent is necessary, expecting such candid statements to become popular is unrealistic. Although society must work towards becoming more comfortable with the idea of explicitly requesting and giving consent, difficulties using such unemotional language are understandable. Fortunately, there are ways to acquire consent that can feel more fun and natural.

Peace: It Starts in the Home

hand cupped under word coloud with words related to 'peacePeace. It’s something many of us wish for, all over the world. For wars to stop, for bombings to end, for refugees to be able to return to their homes in safety.

And for others, peace means something closer to home. A home free of violence - of hitting, of screaming, of verbal abuse, or sexual abuse.

in recognition of this year’s International Day of Peace, we want to talk about peace at home, recognizing the major and long-term affects that an abusive home can have on those growing up in it, and what any one of us can do to help.

How to Help a Friend Who is Being Abused

Woman comforting unhappy friend

How do you help a friend who is being abused? Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know when someone is being abused, and many people just don’t know how to help, despite how much they care. This can also be true for younger women, especially teenagers who may not have had any education about how to distinguish between health and unhealthy relationships.

How to Talk to Teens about Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence

Father and son

As parents, caregivers or teachers of teens, there are some important steps to take when it comes to talking to teens about healthy relationships and dating violence. Keeping the lines of communication open and ensuring you create a judgement-free, supportive environment is key. We’ve already discussed how dating violence is most definitely a teen issue and some typical warning signs to be on the lookout for. In this post about teens and healthy relationships, we want to go over some key points on how parents, caregivers and educators can talk to teens about these important issues.


Celebrating Canada and Looking Ahead: How We’re Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Diverse group of womenWe’ve spent a long weekend of get-togethers, fireworks, and celebrating our country with Canada Day festivities. Now is a good time to look back and reflect on how our how we have made progress in handling cases of domestic violence. Generally we know that we’ve made great strides in recognizing and responding to domestic violence, but we also know that a significant part of the picture of violence and abuse in our homes remains obscured from view. This under-reporting can affect resource allocation and other policy decisions. The latest (2014) report on domestic violence from Statistics Canada features an in-depth analysis of self-reported incidents of spousal violence, with data from 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization. The information gathered from victims is crucial to understanding family violence across Canada.

Aboriginal History Month

Geraldine RobertsonWhen I was first asked to write a blog post in honour of Canada’s National Aboriginal Day on June 21, my first thought was of my recently passed Grandmother June McKay, because her birthday is on June 21. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with my grandmother’s cousin and close friend, Geraldine Robertson. Like my grandmother, Geraldine is also a strong, resilient, and beautiful First Nations woman. Geraldine is a residential school survivor. On May 5, Geraldine and I sat down for tea at her home on Aamjiwnaang First Nation. We discussed resiliency, making connections, and how she has supported other survivors to begin their healing journeys. In recognition of her work raising awareness about the legacy of residential schools, Geraldine was recently inducted into the Order of Ontario.

Supporting moms in domestic abuse situations

Mother and daughter

“She’s the glue that holds us together.” It’s not uncommon to hear these words spoken about moms, both young and old. When it comes to the family system, the reality is that many times, moms are the one who keep the day-to-day dealings of the family running smoothly. The physical and mental workload of raising a family is big, and moms are often responsible for much of it. But what if mom doesn’t have anyone looking out for her own well-being? Worse yet, what if the mom is being abused?

How Laughter Can Heal

Mother and son laughingHumour and healing – there’s growing recognition of the powerful connection between a belly laugh and recovery from trauma. Whether you’re dealing with the stress and trauma that victims and survivors of abuse commonly suffer or you want to support someone who is, laughter can make things better. In fact, even the anticipation of laughter can boost your mood and relieve anxiety. Laughing releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make you feel happy.  It relieves physical tension and stress and can help your muscles relax.  Tenths of a second after you hear a punch line, a wave of electrical activity sweeps through your entire cortex, triggering positive physical changes in your brain.  And it’s good for your heart because it increases oxygen in your blood and boosts circulation.


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