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By: Shabna Ali, Executive Director BC Yukon Society of Transition Houses.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Shabna Ali, Executive Director BC Yukon Society of Transition Houses."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Shabna Ali, Executive Director BC Yukon Society of Transition Houses

2 The B.C./Yukon Society of Transition Houses (BCYSTH) is a non-profit association of transition houses, safe homes, second stage houses, and other groups which serve the needs of abused women and their children across BC and the Yukon.

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4 BC Yukon Society of Transition Houses We represent 67 Transition Houses, 15 Safe Homes, 12 Second Stage Programs and 93 Children Who Witness Abuse programs. The work engaged in by our members is the provision of refuge and support to abused women and their children.

5 As an umbrella organization we support the work of our members by providing advocacy on emerging issues and trends. In addition, we build capacity, provide support, resources and training to the Transition House Sector. One such resource is our Children Who Witness Abuse Program.

6 Children Who Witness Abuse “Don’t worry that children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you!” Robert Fulgham

7 What are the Children Who Witness Abuse Programs? The Children Who Witness Abuse Program provides psycho-educational support groups and individual counselling for male and female children and youth who had previously been exposed to domestic violence.

8 The program is available in 56 BC Communities to children and youth aged BCYSTH provides training and support to agencies who want to provide this service. We have a comprehensive Children Who Witness Abuse curriculum and training program that consists of 3 modules of training spanning 12 days.

9 Who Initiated The Children Who Witness Abuse Programs? The Children Who Witness Abuse Program (CWWA) arose from the Transition Houses and Battered Women’s Movement.

10 Why is there a need for the CWWA programs? Over 500,000 Canadian homes live with family violence. The effects of exposure to violence in relationships can follow a child from home to school and to the larger community Children’s exposure to abuse significantly disrupts their academic, social and emotional development. Prevention and early intervention programs are critical for these children

11 Why is there a need for the CWWA programs ? In 1998/99 approximately 378,000 children between the ages of 6-11 in Canada had witnessed violence at home at some point in their lives. This constitutes approximately 17% of the population in this age group. Exposure to witnessing parental violence in the home may lead to violence in the home and may lead to violent behavior in the community and in future relationships Source: statistics Canada 2003

12 Children Who Witness Abuse Program Goals The overall program goal is to interrupt/end the intergenerational cycle of abuse of women by: Directly Helping Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Developing parental awareness of how domestic violence effects their children Raising community awareness through violence prevention

13 How will the CWWA Program help children and youth ? The CWWA Program will help children and youth to: Express Feelings in a healthy way Understand that they are not responsible for the violence Develop a safety plan Identify cycle of violence Explore myths about violence against women Develop strong conflict resolution skills

14 What Services are offered through the CWWA Program? Individual and Group Counselling Individual and Group Counselling for non-offending care-givers School Based Educational Activities designed to prevent violence

15 A reflection on the CWWA Program The room had the feel of a loved hope chest, I came in search of understanding, answers and tools To restore our lives of violence witnessed The counsellors opened the chest With their Grace and understanding Warmth and Wisdom— Gail

16 Key Considerations in the Children Who Witness Abuse Programs Applying a feminist philosophy of mothering is essential The safety of children depends on the safety of their mother

17 Current Initiatives Violence Is Preventable Project Best Practices Guide

18 Violence is Preventable Project The goal of VIP is to establish a province- wide system that would provide children and youth with school-based support and education around the issues of domestic violence. In the final year of a 3 year pilot program, VIP has touched the lives of approximately 5,000 youth and adults in BC.

19 VIP is a community-based program that is facilitated by the existing Children Who Witness Abuse programs throughout the province of BC. The program consists of 3 main activity areas: 1. Awareness Presentations: that aim to educate educators, parents and other adults about children’s exposure to domestic violence 2. Violence Prevention Presentations: designed for classrooms (K to Grade 12) where children and youth can learn about domestic violence. 3. Group Interventions: for children and youth who have been exposed to domestic violence, multi-week psycho- educational groups are held for students in a school setting.

20 Resources Available Some of the resources available are: Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling Source Book/Practice Guidelines CWWA Counsellor’s Handbook: 20 Most Commonly Asked Questions Children’s Activities Handbook Creating a Support Group for Mothers of Children Who Have Witnessed Abuse Children Who Witness Abuse Presentation Kit And many more….

21 Contact us for more information at: BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses


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