Plans under way for Inclusive Communities Regional Conference

Egale Canada will be partnering with Violence Prevention Southwest to offer a two day training session on how to Create Safe and Welcoming Workplaces, Programs and Services Wednesday & Thursday, October 10-11, 2018 at the Day’s Inn in Stephenville.

Below is an overview of the sessions offered.

LGBTQI2S 101: Creating Safe and Welcoming Workplaces, Programs and Services – Participant Learning Objectives

This full day session includes LGBTQ 101: An Introduction to LGBTQ Identities in the first half of the day.  During the second half of the day, participants reflect, brainstorm and address the challenges and barriers to equitable LGBTQ inclusion and safer space. Participants work through real-life scenarios specific to their environment to develop proactive strategies and solutions for creating LGBTQ inclusive policies, procedures, culture, programs and services in compliance with Human Rights legislation.


Knowledge-Based Objectives

  • Know the LGBTQI2S acronym
  • Understand that norms of gender and attraction are socially constructed
  • Know the 4 categories of human identity (assigned sex, gender identity, gender expression and attraction)
  • Understand how the 4 categories interact
  • Understand the diversity of LGBTQI2S identity and the importance of social location
  • Understand Intersectionality as it relates to LGBTQI2S identities
  • Understand pronoun use

Attitude-Based Objectives

  • Value access to identity labels
  • Value pronouns and why they matter
  • Value accountability in making amends for mistakes

Skills-Based Objectives

  • Participants will be better able to implement inclusive language in their day to day work and personal lives
  • Participants will understand the value of making amends when mistakes are made, and how to positively respond to their mistakes and misunderstandings
  • Participants will be better able to engage and understand the LGBTQI2S community

Trans Community Awareness Full Day Training – Participant Learning Objectives

This six-hour workshop will increase participant’s knowledge of trans identities and trans-specific issues, highlight best practices for inclusion, and help participants understand the experiences of trans folks in their workplaces and communities.

 Knowledge-Based Objectives

  • Know the LGBTQI2S acronym; what is it and what it stands for
  • Understand that gender and attraction diversity are ancient and world wide
  • Understand the categories of human identity and how they interact
  • Understand what trans identity is and the diversity of experience of trans people
  • Understand that common experience of transphobia enables structural forms of transphobic violence
  • Understand pronouns, what they are, and why they matter

Attitude-Based Objectives

  • Value access to identity labels
  • Value safer spaces for trans people by understanding the interlocking impacts of transphobic discrimination
  • Value gender affirming approaches to transition as a process that is self determined
  • Value respecting pronouns

Skills-Based Objectives

  • Participants will be better able to implement inclusive language in their day to day work and personal lives
  • Participants will understand the value of making amends when mistakes are made, and how to positively respond to their mistakes and misunderstandings
  • Participants will be better able to engage and understand the LGBTQI2S community

Registration is required. For more information contact Corinne at 643-2247 or email for more information.

Our Seniors Celebrated during World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Throughout the month of June several events were held throughout the southwestern region in celebration and recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

 On June 16, the Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence hosted their annual Seniors’ Kitchen party at the Stephenville Lions Club.

 Over 110 pre-registered for the event consisting of a hot turkey meal catered by Jennifer’s Sweet & Savoury Occasions. Social Worker with Western Health, Sean Hillier offered life-saving tips regarding taking medications.

 Following lunch and keynote, the Twilight 50+ Club from Port au Port got the party started with a few toe-tapping dances, inviting everyone up afterwards. Thanks to Overflow for lending their musical talent.

 Many community organizations were invited in to set up displays offering information and resources to those attending.

 Special thanks to all volunteers, organizations, Stephenville Lions Club and seniors for coming out year after year making our event bigger and better.

 See you all again next year! 

Check out our Facebook page for more great pics! 




Montreal Massacre Remembered

Twenty-eight years after the horrific mass murder of 14 young women in Montreal, candlelight vigils continue to be held to remember the lives of the 14 female students shot down during class at Ecole Polytechniques on December 6, 1989.

During an emotional remembrance ceremony held at the BSG Campus of the College of the North Atlantic, Executive Director, Janice Kennedy offered somber statistics that indicate that violence against women, particularly in this province is continuing to rise. She went on to say that until we come together as a united front, she fears the numbers will continue to increase. “We need to start the conversation” she continued.

Representing and honouring the young women who lost their lives at the hands of one man who decided that their lives didn’t matter, were 14 Community Studies students who laid a rose 

and lit a candle as a symbol of the life that was. Each were remembered for who they were, not the manner in which they died.

Michelle Felix, Assistant to Member of Parliment Gudie Hutchings, brought greetings on Gudie’s behalf, saying that “Canada is committed to addressing gender-based violence.” She also confirmed that “living a violence-free life is a right.”

Each year at the Dec. 6 Vigil, a second year Community Studies student who portrays exceptional leadership qualities is awarded the Stephanie Cormier Chassion Leadership award in memory of a lady who excelled in this area, giving selflessly to her family, and her community. 

BSG Status of Women’s Council board director, Brenda Dennis announced Daryl Oakley as this year’s recipient. Brenda congratulated Daryl on being a leader in his community and to his peers. During her presentation Brenda spoke of how Daryl regards leaders as people who are passionate about wanting to help, and to get a job done through many things such as inspiration, passion, loyalty and motivation. Daryl says “that leadership is so important because people take on the personality of their leaders.”

Following the ceremony, those attending offered congratulations and socialized in the dining hall over refreshments.

Check out Facebook for more pics. 


International Day of Persons with Disabilities

To ensure equality for all, the Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence supported Brenda Dennis, Independent Living Intern with Empower as she hosted a Community Resource Fair in recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Dozens of community folk dropped by the Stephenville Lions Club on Friday afternoon, Dec. 1st to visit the many displays on hand. During one-to-one conversations many learned about the useful resources available in our community such as Mental Health & Addictions services. Having housing issues, Michelle Power, the Housing Support Worker with the Community Education Network was happy to offer assistance.

In addition to the displays and take-away information, several guest speakers educated the audience on many programs and services available, particularly to the aboriginal community and other minority groups. Rocky John from Conne River spoke on Jordan’s Principle; a program that offers financial assistance to families of children under the age of 19 who is requiring medical attention. Dr. Stewart McNeil and Jonathon Bennett, with the Tajike’k Center, encouraged all to become more in tune with their personal wellness journey.

Several presentations engaged the group in interactive, fun activities. Sharon Williston with the Melgignat Women’s Group had everyone on their feet playing a childhood favorite party game-Pass the Parcel, just one of the fun activities they enjoy during their elder and youth socials. Kim Kendell, Youth Outreach Worker, taught the group the advantages of being more mindful in our own lives. Encouraging everyone to slow down and to become more aware in the present moment.

Those who attended all agreed the afternoon was an informative, fun way to learn about some of the programs available to all in our community and surrounding areas; that equality and inclusion is not to be only recognized one day of the year, but every day.

Don’t forget to check out Facebook for more pictures.

November 20 A day for safety

November 20 is a day most known in Canada as National Child Day, but it is also an annual observance that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Today let’s remember the innocence of children and pray for their safety as they grow, for acceptance in their true identity.


2017 AGM Highlights Another Busy Year!

“Bottom line-Change Happens!” That was the final note made by keynote speaker, Jackie Lake Kavanagh during Violence Prevention Southwest Annual General Meeting on November 16, 2017.

The Child & Youth Advocate for NL, Ms. Lake Kavanagh thanked Bernice Hancock, Executive Director with the Community Education Network for the invitation and opportunity to address the coalition members and others in attendance. During her keynote she spoke of her role as “Advocate for the rights of children and youth of our province.” With a short slideshow she highlighted the office’s role, mandate and services offered.  She cautioned that “we as adults shouldn’t assume what youth are thinking,” and that she and her office, “meet them{youth} on the grounds where they feel safe”

She informed the audience that the OCYA is in the process of a conducting a provincial listening tour where NL young people have a voice. They are travelling across the province going into schools, meeting with Choices for Youth, working with youth groups and speaking at events such as this to meet them where they are. “We can’t advocate for what we don’t understand” she said.

Joining in on the day’s events and speaking with Ms. Lake Kavanagh were 1st and 2nd year Community Studies students from the College of the North Atlantic. One student offered how the day helped her learn more about the OYCA providing networking opportunities as this is the form of work she plans to pursue.

Members of the local coordinating committees: BSG Coalition to End Violence, HELP Committee and Peaceful Communities shared several of their events from the past year, highlighting some first-time held events such as Pride Week in Port aux Basques and Strengthening Families in Stephenville Crossing.

Laura Alyward, Councilor with the Town of Stephenville spoke about the importance of the work done by the coalition and how great it is to see so many younger people involved in community work. She congratulated SWCEV on “all the good work {you} do.” Encouraging the coalition to continue strong with their violence prevention initiative. Ms. Hancock concluded the day by echoing Ms. Alyward adding that if never ceases to amaze her “how much work we are able to do with small amounts of money,” giving credence to the uniqueness of the SWCEV in how it operates different than the other nine regional coordinating committees across the province.

Operating under the Community Education Network, SWCEV fiances and administrative duties are carried out by CEN staff, allowing the majority of the funding provided by the Provincial Government of NL Women’s Policy Office-Provincial Violence Prevention Initiative to go back into the community through violence prevention programs, services and activities.

At the end of the day, many agreed this was an opportunity to come together to share information, motivate and inspire each other to continue forging a path to a world in which violence no longer exists.

For more AGM pictures follow us on Facebook.

The Advocate for Children and Youth is an Independent Statutory office of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Elder Abuse Information Sharing

Violence Prevention Southwest (SWCEV) appreciated and accepted an offer to share information regarding what it is the organization does in the southwestern region of our province.

Kellie Kerpan, with Qalipu First Nation in Grand Falls-Windsor has taken her New Horizons project on the road, travelling around the island meeting with organizations and committees like SWCEV offering information and resources to our aging population.

Two sessions this week, in both Burgeo and Stephenville, offered seniors attending and presenters, like SWCEV, more insight as to what is necessary to help our province’s aging population be aware and able to protect themselves when it comes to various types of abuse.

The key, Bernice Hancock, of SWCEV, told those in attendance, is  “connectivity.” She said, “ensuring our seniors are not isolated and vulnerable is important.” Events and activities such as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Seniors Kitchen Parties, Respect Aging sessions and the monthly Community Cafes are some opportunities to offer information and build a network of supports in a fun-filled manner.


Take Back the Night

As stated on NL Sexual Assault Crisis & Prevention Center’s website, the Take Back the Night march “is an action created to enable large numbers of women to publicly express our anger and intolerance of violence against women and vulnerable groups.” From an early age, to avoid the risk of violent attacks, females are told to not walk alone, to avoid dark areas, don’t walk at night, to avoid strangers, in essence to give up independence, a right thousands of strong women fought for.  The reality is that the spousal-homicide rate for women in this province is 5 times higher than that of men, with the largest number experiencing violence at the hands of someone they love.*

“The Take Back the Night March is a public protest organized by women, for women. It serves as a means for women to unite and voice our desire to end the fear and perceived responsibility women experience when it comes to sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of violence.”

Generally communities come together to march on the third Friday in September in recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Week. The local coordinating committees, under Violence Prevention Southwest supports local women’s centers in the area with this march.

This year in Stephenville, 61 females, or those identifying as female, marched from the Killick Cafe to LA Bown where they were greeted and welcomed by men, women and children of the Drumming Circle. Marchers and supporters enjoyed delicious bbq while taking time to read the many messages of survival and hope drawn on t-shirts as part of the Clothesline project.

Also on display were the Faceless Dolls a project of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network. Each doll represents a person who were murdered or missing.

HELP Committee in Burgeo took part in their Take Back the Night Walk on Friday, September 28, 2017. Although the weather did not cooperate in their favour, over 40 women and children “united and voiced their desire to end the fear” and perception that women are responsible for sexual violence and  other forms.

For more pictures, check out Facebook

*Statistics Canada, Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2005