A school-based outreach program called Violence is Preventable (VIP) is looking to recruit male students. In this program, supportive men present to grade 10 students in School District 68 about domestic and dating violence.
Tracy Meyers, Coordinator for the Children and Youth Who Witness Abuse Program at Haven Society says,
“The mandate [of the VIP program] is to connect to children in classrooms. We recognize at haven that we only see a little fraction of the children who may have witnessed violence at home. We’re only seeing the women who come forward and say ‘hey my kids need some support’. When we go into a classroom we’re able to reach all kinds of children with the message that it is their right to be safe and we don’t want them to try and interfere in the violence if adults are in conflict—we want them to be safe and know that they’re not alone. It’s a way of reaching students across the district that may never come to our agency but nonetheless witnessing the abuse of their mother at home.”
The presentation is tied into Career and Personal Planning 10 classes to talk about domestic violence and how it can impact young people. It also encompasses dating violence and gender messaging.
“We’re women that work at Haven and we have a certain ability to communicate this information but when we’re trying to reach grade 10 male students, it’s a lot easier for us if we have a supportive man standing with us, giving a similar message about dating violence, sexual assault, and abusive power in a relationship,” says Meyers.
If you would like to volunteer with the VIP program, please contact Haven Societies’ Volunteer Coordinator Alanna Larsen at 250-756-2452 EXT 247. Applicants are encouraged to apply before Sept. 30.
A criminal record check is required but the Haven Society will reimburse the fee.
Training for the VIP program is set to start in Oct.