Shining a light on intimate partner violence

The #LoveLove Letter, United Way Elgin Middlesex

local news with impact

Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO United Way Elgin Middlesex

Tim Kelly, Executive Director at Changing Ways, an organization that helps individuals end abuse in their relationships, describes the pandemic as the perfect storm. Lockdowns and restrictions these past 19 months only exacerbated the intensity and severity of intimate partner violence in homes across our community, an issue that was already a problem before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

While increasing support for women and children is critical—rates of violence have soared 20-30% and the need for services is not slowing down—what is the role of men in ending abuse? It’s a question Tim answers every day.  

Tim and his team at Changing Ways run Caring Dads, a program currently funded by United Way that works with men who cause harm to help them create safety for themselves and their families.  

As soon as the pandemic started, program staff figured out quickly how to keep the work going with men at risk of abusing by providing electronic tablets for clients so they could log in for virtual support meetings and counselling sessions from their car, home or even the bus stop.Learn more from Tim here.

Dr. Anna Lise Trudell, Manager of Education, Training and Research at Anova, an organization that provides shelter and support for women and children experiencing intimate partner violence, agrees that men are key to ending the violence.

It  is many men doing this violence, she says, often good men who in other ways are doing harmful acts. And it’s going to take other men around them, their friends, colleagues, brothers and fathers, to step into discomfort and call out negative behaviour. 

Frankly, Dr. Trudell concludes, we’re never going to end violence unless men do the work of engaging other men. Hear more from  Anna Lise here.

Caring dads and safer families. All part of a community where everyone matters. 

Thank you for improving lives locally, 

P.S. Do you need help for you or a loved one? Call 211 anytime 24/7 to get connected to supports close to home. 

The #LocalLove Letter,
monthly updates,
straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Shine the Light on Woman Abuse – Every November our community comes together to show support for survivors of abuse, bring attention to the issue of violence against women and girls, and stand in solidarity with the many agencies, organizations and activists working toward a community free from violence and abuse. Here are two ways you can support: Join the London Abused Women’s Centre’s 2021 Shine the Light campaign and Read Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Although the official inquiry concluded in June 2019, the work to transform systemic legal and social causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls, including sexual violence, continues.

United Way advocates for Living Wage —Ontario’s new minimum wage announced earlier this month is a good start, but a living wage that takes into account what people need to live, work and participate in their local community, is the goal. United Way’s Kelly Ziegner weighs in with CBC radio’s Chris dela Torre about the difference a living wage makes to ensure people are not just surviving, but thriving. Listen to the clip here.

Caring Dads —United Way helped keep families safe during the pandemic by providing funds to help Caring Dads deliver remote support to men at risk of abusing. As we start to recover and return to in-person activities, the program is exploring ways to keep the benefits of virtual support meetings and counselling sessions. Learn how Caring Dads is meeting the need for a 30 per cent increase in requests for service.