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UPDATE: New videos aim to equip Islanders to intervene in family violence

Danya O’Malley, executive director of Family Violence Prevention Services, helped launch a video series Monday that offers brief, practical examples of how to recognize signs of family violence and safely take action.
Danya O’Malley, executive director of Family Violence Prevention Services, helped launch a video series Monday that offers brief, practical examples of how to recognize signs of family violence and safely take action. - Jim Day

Danya O’Malley is pleased to see helpful intervention of family violence increasingly accepted as a public responsibility.

For far too long, it was not, notes the executive director of Family Violence Prevention Services.

“It was previously thought that family violence was a private matter,’’ says O’Malley.

“It was seen as an intrusion to involve yourself in someone else’s private family life. Society is changing to come around to the idea that we have a shared, collective responsibility to address family violence.’’

On Monday, O’Malley helped launch a new video series that takes aim

at family violence in public places and work environments.

The “Make it Your Business” video series offers brief, practical examples of how to recognize signs of family violence and safely take action. The videos are designed for workplace training and educating the public. They cover common kinds of violence that bystanders might witness such as sexual assault, abuse of older adults, child abuse, online harassment, or verbal abuse in a public place.

The $45,000 project was funded by the City of Charlottetown and the Province of P.E.I

“We all have a role to play in ending family violence, but many times bystanders aren’t sure what to do and are afraid of making the situation worse,’’ said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.

“What we hope to do through this project is equip people with the skills to recognize signs of family violence and feel confident enough to act.’’

O’Malley says the videos can be used in a variety of settings to show that even small actions can have very positive consequences for victims of family violence.

“Showing that everyone can play a role in ending violence in their community means that we are one-step closer to creating a safer, more peaceful society,’’ she says.

“It is important that we can recognize the signs of abuse and know how to help,” said

Minister of Family and Human Services Tina Mundy says it is important to help Islanders learn how to recognize and respond to signs of abuse.

“This series will be a major contribution to workplace training and to public understanding of what we can all do to help prevent violence and show victims of violence that they are not alone,” says Mundy.

Below is an example of one video from the series. This one is titled "Make It Your Business… When you hear abusive language."

For more information on the video series and Family Violence Prevention services, visit: www.fvps.ca/makeityourbusiness

Free screening
The Make it Your Business video series will be shown Thursday at 5 p.m. at Holland College’s Florence Simmons Performance Hall at a free screening with a reception at 4:30 p.m. The videos, along with the scenario scripts, training material and other resources are available on the Family Violence Prevention website at: www.fvps.ca/makeityourbusiness/

Show of support
Islanders are encouraged to wear purple Wednesday to show support to victims of family violence. In Charlottetown, the Ninth Annual Walk in Silence for Victims of Family Violence will begin at 12 p.m. (noon) at the Coles Building on Grafton Street, ending with a reception and remarks at City Hall. For more information on Family Violence Prevention Week (Feb. 11 to 17) activities, visit: stopfamilyviolence.pe.ca/2018schedule.

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