ANTIGONISH – Gender-based violence — which is violence against people based on their gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender — is a preventable and significant barrier to gender equality, and it persists in Canada. It is increasingly important for our youth to learn about healthy relationships and ways to prevent gender-based violence, which has immediate and often long‑lasting impacts on a person’s physical and mental health.
Today, Central Nova MP Sean Fraserhighlighted the Government’s continued commitment to ending gender-based violence by announcing nearly $1 million in funding over five years to the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association to support its Healthy Relationships for Youth initiative. The MP made the announcement while visiting the Centre to learn more about the services they provide to the community and to hear first-hand of the positive experiences from youth facilitators involved in the initiative.
This unique project will provide more than 1,200 Grade 9 students in four different regions in Nova Scotia with skills to help them build and maintain healthy relationships. These students are primarily from rural-based communities, including Mi’Kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities, and newcomers to Canada. Research shows that programs that promote healthy and supportive relationships among youth can contribute to the prevention of violence. Through interactive sessions delivered by youth facilitators, supported by their teachers and staff at the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association and partner organizations, students will increase their awareness and knowledge surrounding dating violence and the underlying factors that contribute to it.
This investment by the Public Health Agency of Canada is part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.