FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN RURAL NOVA SCOTIA: ACHIEVING STRUCTURAL CHANGE THROUGH SYSTEM, COMMUNITY AND INDIVIDUAL INTERVENTIONS (SESSION U)
Systems Interventions – Advocating for Policy Change to Reduce Systems Harms: Traditionally, those impacted by family violence have been viewed through an individual deficit-based lens, as opposed to looking structurally at the systems issues that contribute to and perpetuate violence at social and individual levels in our communities. Utilizing a structural lens allows us to move away from solely blaming individuals and further examine the impact systems have in the creation and maintenance of violence in our communities. This presentation will look at how policy-driven governmental systems are held underaccountable, contradicting the aims of community-based prevention, and perpetuate individual over-accountability and ethical failure. We will explore the impact of increased monitoring, stigma, and rigid policies on the psychosocial, ethical selves of underserved individuals in rural communities. Embracing a structural approach, grounded in restorative practices, health promotion, and human rights, will allow us to look at innovative policies and programs that can reduce systems violations, thereby supporting individual psychosocial wellbeing, ethical integrity, and community-based violence prevention.
Community Interventions – Coordinating Community Support and Services: Freeman House is a coordinated Child, Youth and Family-centered support and services prototype in Nova Scotia, built upon a partnership between Family Service of Western Nova Scotia (FSWNS) and the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services (Prevention and Early Intervention) with programs funded at provincial and federal levels. Freeman House is committed to people-centered, trauma-informed, rights-based practice, community coordinated support and service delivery, and structural transformation impacting system, community and individual levels. This presentation will explore coordinating intervention with early intervention, prevention, and health promotion spanning the Social Determinants of Health to establish a collaborative community-based approach focused on preventing violence at social and individual levels in our communities. The presentation will specifically look at how hub activities, including interagency and inter-professional weekly case coordination meetings, may work outside of dominant discourse to meet people where they are, address profiling, and balance accountability, shifting an onus for change back to the community and systems, rather than solely holding individuals over-accountable and perpetuating their moral and social failure.
Individual Interventions – Working with Individuals to Prevent Violence in Response to the Systems, Community and Individual Issues they Identify: The Men’s Intervention Program is uniquely situated within this coordinated community hub on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. In this presentation, we will examine how this approach advances the prevention of violence at personal, community and structural levels; while working to achieve socially and financially effective transformation of the structures we work within. This work allows us to better support historically underserved individuals disproportionally impacted by violence in our rural communities. We will examine how a coordinated community of caring can offer an alternative to the dominant discourse, and typical systems barriers focused on individual deficits, that are often faced by those underserved. This presentation will explore how the Men’s Intervention Program, embedded within a structure of system, community and individual change, utilizes a restorative, trauma-informed, rights-based practice that enables us to work together with men.