National Friendship Day: How to Support a Friend in an Abusive Relationship

Two female friends with their backs to the camera and their arms around each otherThroughout our lives we are blessed with friendships. Some friends pass through our lives, leaving only memories behind. Others stay with us on our life journey. Some friends have been with us for a very long time, like childhood best friends, or that first friend we meet when we move to a new town for university or college. And we forge some of our strong friendships with people we meet later in life, coworkers, parents of our children’s friends, neighbours or others that become part of our social networks.

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Mother and child's hands cupping a paper cut out of a house, text reads: “Community level initiatives are essential in bridging artificial barriers created by which levels of government fund and administer which services.”In 2003, Jean Calterone Williams in her text “A Roof Over My Head: Homeless Women and the Shelter Industry” writes: Women’s stories and comments have shown repeatedly the importance of domestic violence in understanding homelessness. Yet most research distinguishes between women who live in homeless shelters and those in domestic violence shelters. Likewise, the environments and programs the two types of shelters offer vary significantly, based on the idea that battered women need different services than homeless women do.

Can Athletes Be Role Models for Healthy Relationships?

High school basketball team poses in gym with coachIn our society, we look up to athletes and many of us aspire to be like them. Athletes are often seen as role models for youth. Athletes also have a special status in our clubs, high schools and universities. It’s so important to remember that with this special status comes a responsibility. As male athletes and coaches, we are active leaders and role models in how we treat, respect and protect girls and women. We need to take this responsibility seriously.

Canada 150 and the Resistance Movement: What Are We Celebrating?

First Nations woman holding a sign of the pictures of missing and murdered indigenous women at Annual Missing Women's Memorial MarchAs we gear up to celebrate Canada 150, only one week after National Aboriginal Day, we can’t ignore the fact that not everyone is enthusiastically embracing Canada 150. “What exactly are we celebrating?” is a question many Canadians are asking. “150 years of what?” ask others.

How to Celebrate Multiculturalism Day in Canada

Different coloured watercolour handprints representing diversityCanadian Multiculturalism Day, on June 27th, is a great opportunity to celebrate our diverse country. Canada is a country rich in history, Indigenous culture and mutual respect. This is the perfect day to celebrate all of the cultures that make up our amazing country as well as the contributions each group is giving to communities across Canada. With the Canada 150 celebration also happening this year, Canadian Multiculturalism Day will be even more fun. Here are a few ways to celebrate this special day.

National Aboriginal Day - The Cultural Significance of Indigenous Art

Mike Cywink standing next to his artMy spirit name is Nimke Giizis, which translates to Thunder Day, while my English name is Mike Cywink. I am an Anishnaabe artist originally from Whitefish River First Nation near Manitoulin Island. I am currently a full time employee at the Centre for School Mental Health at the University of Western Ontario. As well as being a full time employee at UWO, I am also a part time student working towards a major in First Nation studies and a minor in Art. I feel pretty fortunate in my role as a Student Mentor at UWO in that I get to work with so many great First Nation students who have such a thirst to learn more about their culture and use that culture in their everyday lives.

Starting the Conversation... Domestic Violence in Later Life

Elderly woman writing on note padDomestic violence does not just affect younger people. It affects all cultures, religions, races, sexual orientations and every age, including older adults.

Often we don’t think that someone, especially a family member, would violently assault or harm an aging parent or loved one. Unfortunately, the abuse of older adults continues and is often at the hands of a spouse or family member, leaving the person to live in fear, silently suffering behind closed doors.

Steps to Justice: Empowering people to understand and take action to deal with their legal problems

Legal professionals working with text: almost 50 percent of Canadians over the age of 18 will  experience at least one civil or family law problem in  a three year period that they consider seriousAre you experiencing partner abuse or know someone who is? Are you worried that you are being treated unfairly at work? Are you getting separated or divorced?  These are some of the issues that people in Ontario face every day.

Recent studies have shown that almost 50 percent of Canadians over the age of 18 will experience at least one civil or family law problem in a three year period that they consider serious. And public awareness of the law is very low – many don’t understand that certain problems have a legal component, but view them as simply bad luck or bureaucratic problems.

Pregnancy Drastically Increases Domestic Violence Risk

teddy bear with text "Pregnancy puts women at an increased risk of experiencing violence from an intimate partner"Pregnancy should be a time when a woman receives extra care and attention. While some women feel great throughout their pregnancy, others face health complications. Whatever the pregnancy experience, growing a baby is hard work and this is a time when women needs all the support they can get. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Many women not only lack support, but are also dealing with abusive relationships while they are pregnant. Although it’s hard for some of us to imagine, pregnancy puts women at an increased risk of experiencing violence from an intimate partner. If she is already experiencing abuse, this domestic violence often intensifies when a woman is pregnant.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Multigenerational familyMother’s Day. It’s a day when we celebrate all the moms and women of influence in our lives. This could be a mom of any type: a biological, adopted, foster or step-mom. It could also be a grandmother, an aunt, an older sister, or another close relative. It might even be your neighbour, a co-worker, a teacher or a close friend. It’s a chance to celebrate anyone who is a mother figure or has had a strong impact on your life!


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