Posted on

The Reality of Domestic Violence

For many individuals, immigrating to Canada is a liberating and incredible experience, but it often comes with a lot of culture shocks and a lack of transitional resources. This creates an added sense of displacement and difficulties, especially for women. It can be a lot to deal with when uprooting to a whole new place and feeling the added pressure of maintaining their cultural heritage for their immigrant families. That burden is felt heavily upon women of Asian or Indian descent, which Malathy Praveen writes about in Elpizo Connect Magazine. Praveen’s piece is educational and very insightful to the reality many Indo-Canadian women face as a part of the immigrant population, especially when it comes to domestic violence issues. The experience of domestic violence for Indo-Canadian immigrant women is kept very secretive, as families often do not support women coming forward, seeking help and publicly sharing their issues with someone else, even if it is a professional. The patriarchal and cultural beliefs among Asian Indians are so strong that women often do not recognize domestic violence, accepting male dominance and power as their only form of knowledge. Research reveals that domestic violence is alarmingly high among Indo-Canadian immigrants. Research also indicates that these immigrant women are at a much higher risk for intimate partner violence. Things like social stigma, gender roles, isolation after migration, lack of social support, and unawareness about available resources causes women to not be able to seek proper help. It is important to know that Elpizo Counselling Services is a great resource for victims of abuse and trauma. The experience of domestic violence in Indo-Canadian women immigrants is more common than you think. We want to help be a better known resource for all immigrants who experience these difficulties of abuse, which is why we know the importance of including Malathy Praveen’s piece in our first issue. You can learn more about domestic violence issues in Elpizo Connect Magazine.
Posted on

Looking Back: November with Elpizo

Elpizo Counselling Services observed November as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

Domestic Violence occurs when one person in a relationship tries to intimidate and control their partner through fear, guilt, shame or power.

 On November 10 2020, Elpizo Counselling hosted a virtual panel discussion for Domestic Violence Awareness. The event was free to join and was hosted on Facebook/Instagram Live from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST.

Watch the panel discussion here:

Elpizo’s client-centred practice provides a non-judgmental and safe space for people to process crises, trauma, challenges and to rebound from adverse experiences. Furthermore, Elpizo is making every effort to raiseawareness about abuse against women and also hosted a discussion on November 25 to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

For more information, visit us on https://elpizocounselling.com/

Posted on

How International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Came To Be

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and people around the world will come together to commemorate and address this issue on a global scale. 

The day was first recognized in 1999 when the United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution, introduced by the Dominican Republic, designating November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. However, the United Nations (UN) was not the first to do this. Women in Latin America and the Caribbean have been honouring the day since 1981. The reason for the day was to mark the anniversary of three women political activists who were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on November 25th 1960 for opposing the regime of dictator Rafael Trujillo. 

The UN officially recognized the date on February 7th 2000, and the United Nations General Assembly encouraged organizations around the world to raise awareness yearly on the date. 

Unlike an illness or disease which groups of people have no control over, ending violence against women is a movement that everyone can bring awareness to. Tragedies like the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre, where a man killed 14 women in a Montreal university should never happen. As a society, we should bring awareness and support initiatives such as The Spotlight Initiative, so history doesn’t repeat itself. 

Elpizo offers a wide range of services for women who have recently or in their past experienced violence and sexual violence. We provide comprehensive counselling and therapy solutions such as Rapid Resolution Therapy that will eliminate emotional and behavioural difficulties. These options are offered online and in-person, and with all our therapeutic options, we work with you to make sure you get the treatment you need.

The 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign that takes place every year. It runs from November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10th, Human Rights Day.

Launched in 2008, the UNiTE Campaign aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world. This is done by calling on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing and fighting against the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. 

COVID-19, the quarantine, lockdowns, and social isolation have negatively influenced mental health and increased risks of family violence and conflict. It is a critical time for women being affected by gender-based violence. 

From November 25 to December 10, the UN’s System’s 16-Day Activism against gender-based violence is taking place under the 2020 global theme: “ Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

The main principles of the UNiTE Campaign Advocacy are:

  1. Honour and acknowledge women’s movements
  2. ‘Leave no one behind’
  3. Survivor-centered
  4. Multi-sectoral
  5. Transformative
  6. Elevate the voices of young feminists
  7. The colour orange continues to be a key tool; unifying all activities

In order to support and be a part of the change, join UNiTE on The 16 Days of Activism and help speak out, unite with partners around the world, reflect on what we can all do in our own communities to eliminate violence faced by young girls, women, and the LGBTQ2 community. Start conversations on social media and become an ally by listening, believing, speaking out, intervening, and acting on what is going on and how you can help.

If you would like to learn more about International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and current UN efforts to fight violence against women, click here.

Posted on Leave a comment

October Recap

ICYMI: Elpizo Counselling joined the fight against Breast Cancer last month. 

As part of the awareness campaign, Elpizo organized a virtual group yoga and paint night to raise funds for  breast cancer research.The events raised $450 and  Elipizo added their own donation of  $550 for a total of $1,000 in donations..

Have a look at our gallery for some of the amazing art that our participants created:

Also, it’s not too late for you to get in a yoga session of your own. Here is a video of the yoga class lead by Yoga Alliance Registered Instructor (and Elpizo therapist) Tala Barrage.

We are committed to supporting and connecting with our community through our ‘Community Connect’ programs which we have established as a virtual space for people who are looking for insight, guidance and healing from this pandemic and other unfortunate circumstances. 

Feel free to register for any of our upcoming workshops and seminars or share it with someone you know who could use our support.

Posted on Leave a comment

Safety Planning for Victims of Domestic Abuse

It might seem overwhelming to prepare a safety plan when you wish to leave an abusive relationship. Here are some tips for those who are thinking about starting their path to a safer place: 

  • If it is safe to do so, always have a phone accessible and know what numbers to call for help, including friends or family and your local shelter. Know where the nearest public phone is located. 
  • Plan and practice with your children and identify a safe place where they can go during moments of crisis, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house.  
  • Back your car into your driveway when you park at home and ensure your gas is at a full tank. If possible, keep the driver’s door unlocked with the rest of the doors locked to allow for quick access to the vehicle. 
  • Let trusted friends and neighbors know about your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you might need their help. Give them clear instructions on who you do or do not want them to contact in moments of crisis, including law enforcement. 
  • When preparing to go to a shelter, if you can, call ahead to see what the shelter’s policies are. They can give you information on how they can help, and how to secure a space when it’s time to leave. 
  • Have a backup plan if your partner finds out about your plan. 
  • What to bring:  
    • Driver’s license or Ontario Photo Card 
    • Social insurance card 
    • Health card 
    • Birth certificate and children’s birth certificates 
    • Financial information 
    • Money and/or credit cards (in your name) 
    • Checking and/or savings account books 
    • Protective order, if applicable 
    • Copies of any lease or rental agreements or the deed to your home 
    • Car registration and insurance papers 
    • Health and life insurance papers 
    • Medical records for you and your children 
    • School records 
    • Work permits/passport/visas/immigration papers 
    • Any legal documents, including divorce and custody papers 
    • Marriage license 
    • Medications and refills (if possible) 
    • Emergency items, like food, bottles of water, and a first aid kit 
    • Multiple changes of clothes for you and your children 
    • Emergency money 
    • Address book 
    • Extra sets of house and car keys 
    • Pictures and sentimental items 
    • Valuable items, such as jewelry 
    • Safe cell phone, if necessary 
    • Numbers of your attorney, local domestic violence program or shelter, local doctor’s office and hospital, criminal legal resources, children’s school

You might want to consider keeping copies of these items at a friend’s place so it won’t raise suspicion if found by your abuser and in case your abuser decides to destroy these items as they may anticipate your plan to escape.

 No matter the severity of your situation, just know that you are not overreacting or being drastic. Signs of abuse can begin to show up in small ways, so it’s important to be mindful, watchful and prepared at all costs. You are not alone. There is a world of support to help and encourage you through your circumstance.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/plan-your-safety.html