Conference addresses family violence in Ottawa's diverse communities

Conference addresses family violence in Ottawa's diverse communities
Keynote speakers, Dr. Hannana Siddiqui and Dr. Ruplaleem Bhuyan

(May 15, 2015) – Markham-based Social Services Network held a two day conference on family violence at the University of Ottawa on May 13 and 14, part of a five year initiative developed to understand domestic abuse in South Asian and diverse communities.

“Violence against women or family violence is not unique or more predominant in immigrant communities” says Dr. Naila Butt, conference co-chair and Executive Director at the Social Services Network (SSN). “But the family dynamics in communities with collectivist cultures differ from those in the mainstream community.”

“The Family Impact of Violence Conference is a forum to address the communal, institutional and systemic challenges that contribute to the continuance of violence in diverse communities.”

Participants attending the 2-day conference included members of the community, mainstream service providers and policy makers involved in violence prevention and response.

Access To Justice discussion forum

Keynote speeches at the event were delivered by Dr. Ruplaleem Bhuyan, Assistant Professor at Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and Dr. Hannana Siddiqui with UK-based Southall Black Sisters, a not-for-profit organization combating domestic violence against black and minority ethnic women.

The Social Services Network organized the gathering in collaboration with Ottawa, Durham, York, Toronto, and Peel Regional Police, and York Region Children Aid Society.

SSN is a grassroots, community-based organization with strong functional partnerships with a diverse set of community groups, faith leaders and community centers.

The conference was a community based five-year initiative led by SSN.

Conference attendees, Humberto Carolo, Director of Programs at White Ribbon Canada and Muneeb Nasir, Co-Chair of Muslims for White Ribbon

Toronto Police Service hosted the first conference in 2011 at Queen’s Park and subsequent conferences were held in York Region, Peel and Durham.

“We are proud to share that we have successfully achieved what we set out to do in out 5 year plan for the Impact of Family Violence conference,” said Dr. Naila Butt. “The objective was to bring together the diverse South Asian population with all the key stakeholders involved in violence prevention and response in order to share best practices and recommendations to address family violence in our communities.”