JUSTICE/STATUS OF WOMEN--Helping Neighbours, Families Help Victims of Domestic Violence

Friends and families of victims of domestic violence will be better prepared to provide support with a new education program and toll-free information telephone line.

Neighbours, Friends and Families is a public education awareness program to help people spot signs of domestic violence and teach them to approach possible victims without making the situation worse.

"We can all play a role in identifying and stopping domestic violence in Nova Scotia," said Justice Minister Ross Landry. "People think domestic violence is a private matter and are unsure how to get involved. Domestic violence impacts all of us, and people who work with victims tell me we need to approach it as a community issue if we are going to make a difference."

People from groups such as law enforcement, transition houses, intervention programs, Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network and government staff were trained to educate community members about effectively supporting victims of violence. They will reach out to people at their work, and in the community with presentations.

"We are very pleased to be working collaboratively with the province and community volunteers to deliver this program," said Pamela Harrison, provincial co-ordinator of Transition House Association of Nova Scotia. "We are also happy to provide skilled counsellors for the Neighbours, Friends and Families phone line."

Those affected by domestic violence can also call the province's first domestic violence toll-free line at 1-855-225-0220. Transition house staff and volunteers from across the province will monitor the line 24 hours a day, and provide support on how to help the abused, or abuser, and spot warning signs of abuse.

Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, said victims often feel isolated.

"It's that lack of contact that can keep them in an abusive situation. The ability to access information over the phone, any time day or night, is one more way to get victims access to important services and supports," said Ms. More. "I want to thank the people who work with Transition House Association of Nova Scotia for their support of the province's first domestic violence toll-free number."                    

Neighbours, Friends and Families is an initiative of the province's Domestic Violence Action Plan and is a partnership between the province, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia and community volunteers. The Neighbours, Friends and Families Program was developed by the province of Ontario and Western University and was adapted to Nova Scotia.

To learn more about the program e-mail nff@gov.ns.ca.

To access supports and resources for victims of domestic violence, visit www.nsdomesticviolence.ca.

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FOR BROADCAST USE:

Friends and families of victims of domestic violence will be

better prepared to provide support thanks to a new education

program and toll-free information telephone line.

 

Neighbours, Friends and Families is a public education

awareness program designed to help people spot the signs of

domestic violence and teach them how to approach possible victims

without making the situation worse.

 

Justice Minister Ross Landry says people who work with

victims have told him that domestic violence needs to be

approached as a community issue.

 

For more information, email N-F-F at gov-dot-ns-ca.

Media Contact: Megan Tonet

               Department of Justice

               902-424-3313

               E-mail: tonetme@gov.ns.ca

 

               Deborah Bayer

               Advisory Council on the Status of Women

               902-424-3742

               E-mail: bayerdj@gov.ns.ca

 

               Pamela Harrison

               Transition House Association of Nova Scotia

               902-456-1030

               E-mail: coordinator@thans.ca

 

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