Manitoba Announces New Awareness Campaign and

Wednesday, July 28 2010

Domestic Violence Prevention Month Launched in Manitoba

Information about the cycle of domestic violence and its impact on children of the family is the focus of a new public awareness campaign launched for domestic violence prevention month by Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh.

"Domestic violence not only affects the direct victim, but also the children who see and hear the trauma," Mackintosh said. "These children are at greater risk of becoming violent themselves and suffering serious emotional problems."

Mackintosh also signalled a new direction in domestic violence programming: targeted assistance for children exposed to domestic violence.

A new fund called At the Roots will benefit children initially through five community-driven action plans:

"Domestic violence has devastating effects on children that can last a lifetime," said Sharon Hunter, counselling co-ordinator at the Fort Garry Women's Resource Centre. "Helping children heal from the effects of domestic violence means we have a chance to break the cycle of abuse in future families."

"Reducing the likelihood of a next generation perpetuating domestic violence holds out real promise for a safer future," says Mackintosh.

"Although Manitoba is be recognized for its continuum of domestic violence initiatives, At the Roots responds to the emerging research on child exposure to domestic violence."

The cost of the public awareness campaign Domestic Violence Destroys Families and the At the Roots fund is $175,000. The awareness campaign includes bus shelter advertising and more than 45,000 brochures will be sent to almost 500 agencies throughout the province to help raise awareness about domestic violence prevention.

The 24-hour, toll-free provincewide crisis line is available at 1-877-977-0007.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Children and Violence

A public health problem of tremendous proportions, childhood exposure to violence (CEV) has a devastating impact on children's development, affecting emotional growth, cognitive development, physical health and school performance. CEV has been significantly linked with increased depression, anxiety, anger, and alcohol and drug abuse, and with decreased academic achievement.

Without intervention, children exposed to violence may suffer long-term repercussions of their exposure, including diminished health and well-being. The children, who experience violence, either as victims or as witnesses, are also at increased risk of becoming violent themselves.

These children are significantly more likely to have involvement with the juvenile justice system, committing crimes at younger ages and nearly twice as often as their peers who have not been similarly exposed to violence.

U.S. National Center for Children Exposed to Violence

SINCE 2000, THE GOVERNMENT HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN MAKING MANITOBA ONE OF THE LEADERS IN SERVICES WITHIN CANADA.

Community Support

Stronger Legislation, Action for Victims

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