Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Healing and Renewal of Family Roles and Responsibilities
- Program name:
Women's Healing – Play Circle Program / Breaking the Silence Program / Family Violence Prevention Program
The Native Women's Transition Centre Inc.
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
The program was started approximately 30 years ago and provided basic services to Aboriginal women seeking refuge from violence, whether domestic or otherwise. They initially provided little programming, but what they did provide has evolved over the years to now offer a variety of programming directed to Aboriginal women that focuses on healing and health.
- Goals & Objectives:
To assist in providing a recreated extended family support system for Aboriginal women who desire to undertake their own healing journeys and to assist in stopping the cycles of violence against women.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The various programs use Elders' involvement and the Medicine Wheel as part of the sacred teachings. The Medicine Wheel provides assistance in many ways, including illustrating the process of providing physical safety for Aboriginal women escaping violence; as well as providing the tools to deal with emotional issues, develop spiritual awareness, self-identity and awareness of their own multiple gifts and strengths.
- Components of program:
The Women's Healing / Play Circle Program deals with the traumatic effects of residential school through the tools of play and humour to help the participants reignite and rediscover their own expressions by re-engaging their abilities to laugh and play. The Breaking the Silence Program is a ten week program that seeks to help Aboriginal women who have suffered the violence of childhood sexual abuse. It provides the screened participants with the opportunity to share their stories in a safe, caring environment and to gain further knowledge of their own power and control. The Family Violence Prevention Program is designed to assist Aboriginal women and children to find healing from the results of family violence, by obtaining education, awareness, personal counselling and support within the context of cultural appropriate teachings. All the programs, including the ones mentioned above, are meant to work together as a whole. The program employs a strength-based model. The programming has evolved so that the individual sessions are not considered separate programs, as such, but rather, part of the larger whole; designed to help the individual and family in a holistic way.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
There is feedback gained from exit interviews, with those who have finished the program; as well as "premature sudden departure" interviews for those clients that leave before completion of a program.
There are close relationships with sister organizations that are independent of one another, but work very closely to assist one another and the participants.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation was completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The report was not made available publicly, and no specific results can be provided.
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured against each individual client's own growth while participating in the programs.
Clients successfully completing the program has been a great achievement.
Obtaining funding. There is a lack of understanding of the complexities involved in addressing violence against Aboriginal women.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. The right approach needs to be envisioned.
Adequate funding, trained staff and facility space are needed to ensure the program's success.
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