News release

Family Violence Prevention Week Feb. 13 to 19

Every day, in communities across the province, Nova Scotians are working to end family violence.

Sunday, Feb. 13 to Saturday, Feb. 19 is Family Violence Prevention Week in the province, a week dedicated to raising awareness about preventing violence in Nova Scotia homes.

"There are many agencies in Nova Scotia working together towards preventing and ending family violence," said David Morse, Minister of Community Services. "We hope that all homes can be a safe place. These joint efforts are vital in supporting Nova Scotia families in their security and well-being."

The Department of Community Services provides close to $5 million each year to transition houses, men's intervention programs and other local community organizations to provide support, assistance and education to families that have experienced violence. Child-welfare and child-protection services in Nova Scotia also play a crucial role in protecting children from violence in the home.

The Department of Justice and Department of Community Services have worked closely on a protocol to help police and community support agencies identify high-risk cases. The Department of Justice provides funding to police agencies and to nine domestic violence co-ordinators to help deal with domestic abuse, particularly in high-risk situations.

"We have worked closely with transition houses, the police and other agencies," said Justice Minister Michael Baker. "Victim safety is our primary concern. We will continue to use effective legislation, training, research and community resources to combat domestic violence."

Public education resources include a new domestic violence poster; safety planning brochures and personalized safety planning booklets for victims of spousal or intimate partner violence; and a police pocket guide to be produced this summer.

The Department of Justice's Justice Learning Centre continues to provide prevention training for justice workers and domestic violence educators. A third round of training is due to begin this summer.

The government of Nova Scotia has also committed to the implementation of a five-year elder abuse prevention strategy. The Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy Committee, supported by the Senior Citizens' Secretariat, leads the implementation, which involves the collaborative action of community and government partners and stakeholders in the prevention of abuse against older adults in Nova Scotia.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Every day, in communities across the province, Nova Scotians are working to end family violence. This week, (February 13th to February 19th) is Family Violence Prevention Week in Nova Scotia.

In Nova Scotia, the Department of Community Services funds transition houses, men's intervention programs and other local community organizations to provide support, assistance and education to families that have experienced violence.

The departments of Community Services and Justice have also worked closely on a number of joint initiatives, including a protocol to identify high-risk cases.

Community Services Minister David Morse says he hopes that all homes can be a place where each family member feels safe.

He says that joint efforts by Community Services, Justice and a number of community-based organizations are vital in supporting Nova Scotia families in their safety and well- being.

-30-

Contact:

Terri Green
Community Services 902-424-4449 Cell: 902-424-0549 E-mail:
djl            February 14, 2005        3:54 P.M.