DC and UOIT host fourth annual Impact on Family Violence conference

The fourth annual Impact on Family Violence Conference: A South Asian Perspective (FVC 2014) was held at the joint Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa campus earlier this month.

The annual event, which was presented by the Social Services Network with the support of more than 25 community partners including the college and university on May 14 and 15, was designed to connect the diverse South Asian population with the key sectors involved in violence prevention and response.

“Events such FVC 2014 provide our students with an opportunity to grow into fully engaged citizens with the knowledge and self-awareness needed to be mindful of issues such as family violence,” said Susan Sproul, dean for the School of Health & Community Services.

Several informational workshops were offered during the two-day conference, along with presentations on topics ranging from forced marriage, femicide (the killings of women and girls due to their gender), sexual diversity, sexual violence and disabilities.

Meant to implement empowering and engaging information on family violence; expose family violence issues and challenges; identify services and programs that support family violence; and empower decision-makers to be able to make informed decisions and access the possibilities of implementing short- and long-term changes, FVC 2014 is part of a five-year initiative developed to understand the specific nature, systems and complex cultural and family dynamics that pose barriers and challenges to preventing and responding to the abuse that occurs in South Asian families.

The conference also included keynote presentations from Dr. Yasmin Jiwani, professor of Communications Studies at Concordia University, and Aparna Bhattacharyya, executive Director for Raksha, as well as workshop speaker Tammy Rankin, a social worker and elder abuse advisor with the Region of Durham, who spoke to attendees about the growing dilemma of elder abuse and various forms of mistreatment.