As the saying goes, it takes a village. This applies not only to raising a child, but also to addressing complex societal issues such as violence against women. A village of local leaders, including DRPS officers, gathered at the Jubilee Pavilion in Oshawa to not only discuss the prevention of violence against women but to take action as well.
Co sponsored by DRPS and the Violence Prevention Coordinating Committee (VPCC), the workshop was titled "From Leadership to Action - Engaging Men in Durham Region." DRPS CAO Stan MacLellan welcomed participants and introduced the workshop's facilitators Todd Minerson and Kevin Vowles from the White Ribbon campaign, who both praised DRPS members for their involvement in the event and commitment to the cause.
After a morning of presentations and a panel discussion that dynamically involved everyone in attendance, the group was then broken off into smaller groups to begin creating action plans to prevent violence against women. These action plans involve activities, campaigns and awareness ideas that will be applied locally to make the most impact on the residents of Durham.
Todd Minerson of www.whiteribbon.ca spoke to those in attendance about the main root causes of violence against women: gender inequality and the harmful aspects of masculinity in society. He was quick to point out that this sort of discussion is not about shaming boys and men, but about engaging them and teaching them the impacts of their actions. "This is not a women's issue and it's not a men's issue," said Minerson. "It's a community issue. We need to work together to change."
Minerson and Vowles believe the actions need to focus on stopping the problem and changing society's impossible ideas of masculinity. Some of their recommendations included finding positive role models for young men and teaching boys about gender equality. "We want boys to be able to be their own authentic self," said Minerson.
For more information on the White Ribbon Campaign, visit http://www.whiteribbon.ca and to learn about the Violence Prevention Coordinating Committee visit http://vpccdurham.org.
DRPS CAO Welcomes Attendees (JPG file, 254.1K bytes)
Sgt. Anderton discusses some of the violence she has had to deal with her in career. (JPG file, 1,469.2K bytes)
Todd Minerson from White Ribbon speaks about engaging boys and men in the discussion (JPG file, 1,155.7K bytes)
Panel includes DRPS Sgt. Anderton and Cst. Rice as well as other community leaders. (JPG file, 1,319.9K bytes)