The Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Prevention Program closed out 2018 with a visit to the Niagara region, with stops in St. Catharines and Welland, Ontario. Over two and a half days, the CCGSD was able to reach over 150 people from hospital services, sexual assault centres, francophone and anglophone health centres, transition houses, law enforcement, AIDS-service organizations, and anti-racism organizations!
Feedback from workshops indicated that participants either learned or were reminded of the importance of not making assumptions regarding clients and colleagues and that the use of mindful language in daily interactions between all parties can help create safer spaces for everyone.
By incorporating pronouns into introductions or not assuming the gender of a client or client’s partner, a service provider can both create safer spaces for gender and sexually diverse people and dismantle oppressive heterosexual and cis-normative systems.
The interest from local service providers in the Niagara Region to increase capacity and better support the rainbow community led to thoughtful questions and meaningful discussion during workshop sessions that I am sure will carry on in the new year. I look forward to following up with folks later in 2019 to see what steps have been taken to improve inclusivity.