Sexualized Violence Prevention Program

Lead Contact: charmaine denny, sexualized violence prevention coordinator

This is a community-based program designed to mobilize and build stronger community responses to support victims/survivors of sexual violence and to encourage community members of all ages to take a role in preventing and responding to sexual violence against all Indigenous people, in a trauma-informed and culturally appropriate way. 

NSNWA, working in collaboration with all Mi’kmaq governments, Nova Scotia Indigenous organizations, the Nova Scotia Provincial government, Canadian Federal government and other community partners to implement the NSNWA Sexualized Violence Prevention Strategy.

The strategy includes: 

  • implementation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice,
  • creation of the Nova Scotia Indigenous Human Trafficking Prevention Strategy and
  • developing an action plan to address Forced and Coerced Sterilization of Indigenous Women and Girls.

Goals and Objectives:
  • Network with all NS Mi’kmaq communities, organizations, services, partners and steering committees
  • Create and implement two prevention strategies for sexualized violence and human trafficking for our Indigenous people
  • Create and conduct workshops, training sessions and programs
  • Guide survivors in accessing available resources
  • Advocate on behalf of victims needs
  • Create programs to increase awareness and response to sexualized violence
  • Assist local NSNWA chapters in mobilizing communities
  • Represent NSNWA on relevant committees and working groups.

Guiding Principles: 
  • Strengths-Based:
    • Staff and activities engage young people’s/community members’ diverse talents, skills, and interests; building on their strengths and involving them in planning and decision-making.
  • Safe and Supportive Environment:
    • Programs and services take place in an environment that is physically/emotionally safe and supportive.
  • Rights Based:
    • Youth have the right to have their needs met in a manner that guarantees maximum opportunity for personal fulfillment and achievement; their development and well-being is the central goal of programming.
  • Voluntary Engagement:
    • Programs are offered voluntarily and with use of positive outreach efforts to engage youth and communities.
  • Accessible:
    • Programs will provide creative solutions for addressing barriers to participation including, but not limited to: transportation, child care, financial barriers and an ability to see one’s culture or identity reflected in the programs and services.
  • Flexible and Responsive:
    • Programs should allow for flexibility and strive to meet the unique needs or circumstances of participants, offer the programs and services in ways, times and locations that are convenient for youth and families to access, and develop creative outreach strategies to engage youth and families facing multiple challenges.
  • Community Centered:
    • The needs of community are at the centre of the program. Programming is delivered in a manner that meets and matches the needs and the community being engaged, provides choices and aims to include community at all levels of delivery and implementation, including planning.
  • Harm Reduction Approach:
    • Approaches will focus on the reduction of negative consequences of high-risk activities without judgmental or coercive strategies. It recognizes that incremental change can lead to healthier lifestyle practices.
  • Trauma-Informed:
    • Trauma-informed support is about acknowledging trauma as a normal response to an overwhelming event, being aware of the prevalence and impacts of trauma, and understanding how trauma may lead to adaptive behaviours and behaviours that may be perceived as “challenging” or “difficult”. Approaches will work to reduce re-traumatization and develop safer spaces and trusting relationships.
  • Gender-Based Analysis +:
    • Approaches will incorporate a GBA+, whereby the experiences of diverse groups of women/girls, men/boys and gender-diverse people are considered in the development of programs and policies, working to improve equity. This includes other identity factors such as (but not limited to) race, class, sexuality, age, ability or religion.
  • Experiential Learning:
    • Opportunities are provided to practice new skills through hands-on experiences which incorporate opportunities for reflection and discussion.
  • Relationship-based:
    • Central to the work is building trust and developing a positive relationship with community. In addition, programs and activities promote consistent and positive relationships.
  • Leadership Development:
    • Opportunities exist for the development of leadership skills and opportunities provided to practice these skills within the program.
  • Culturally Competent:
    • Programs will demonstrate an awareness of the culture and diversity of youth/community and strive to ensure the delivery of culturally competent programming. The NSNWA will make efforts to reflect community diversity in its staff and board complement.
  • Holistic Approach:
    • Supports and services take into account the “whole” person, including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual and creative development; recognizing the importance of context such as familial relationships, peer relationships, history, culture, race, etc.
  • Community-development:
    • Programming is relevant to the community being served; partnering and collaborating with existing community resources to build on programming and promote community capacity.