Saint John is one of four sites in Canada taking part in a project aimed at addressing violence against women.
It’s part of a three year initiative focused on women who are part of especially vulnerable populations, such as indigenous people, migrants, along with women with intellectual and mental health disabilities. Officials say violence against women is higher in all four groups.
Key Industries in Saint John provides services for adults with intellectual disabilities, a segment of the population where women may find themselves mistreated.
“Sometimes individuals don’t always have the words to understand and express violence,” said Lois Poirier, Key Industries program manager. “If it’s reported or we suspect we always do refer to adult protection.”
The project examines what’s called structural violence and the need to look at the context at which violence in these groups occurs.
“Right from the beginning and the relationship between poverty and violence and vulnerability,” said Doris Rajan of the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society. “Each of these communities have what we’re referring to as historically shaped violence based on their different experiences.”
Saint John is seen as a good community to provide one of the snapshots of the situation with the hope that gaps will be identified between woman and service organizations.
“Is it because some of the women in the target groups don’t now about the services or are there not services for those particular women,” asked Sue Davis, the “Working Together” project’s local coordinator.”From the service providers side maybe to identify some of the barriers that may be keeping some of these women from going to them”.
Toronto, Regina and Vancouver are the other communities taking part.
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