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Federal funding to help victims of domestic violence
Published Thursday, December 15, 2016 5:06PM CST
The federal government has teamed up with a local Saskatchewan group to provide arts-based intervention for victims of domestic violence.
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced Thursday that it will invest close to $600,000 into the program over the next four years to provide support for indigenous women living off-reserve in Saskatchewan.
The new program is called “Creative Solutions to Easing Victimization’s Effects.” It will be implemented by the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS).
“We hope that women will be able to form connections and learn about the culture and engage in some healing arts-based activities that will help to recover from trauma and violence, but not specifically focus on that,” said Crystal Giesbrecht, director of research and communications with PATHS.
PATHS will host the project in Moose Jaw, Regina and Prince Albert about 10 times over the next four years. Each session will work with 12 women over a 12-week period.
“Research shows us that culture helps people to heal and we know that art helps people to heal,” Giesbrecht said. “But it’s a really new field and not a lot has been done. This funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada is so innovative and so important because not only can we develop and deliver the program, but we’re doing research and evaluation as well. “
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the funding will help target family violence in Saskatchewan, which has the highest rate of family violence of any province in Canada at more than twice the national average.
“The victims come from indigenous backgrounds and cultures and heritage,” Goodale said. “The programming must be designed to meet their circumstances in a way that seems relevant to them.”
The first session is scheduled in Moose Jaw in March. The program will officially launch in that city, Regina and Prince Albert in the fall of 2017.