Pauktuutit gets money for violence against women project aimed at men and boys
“The project itself is to engage Inuit men and boys… to better understand the behaviours behind violence"
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada has received a $300,000 federal grant to fund a new project looking at the roots of violence against women.
On Sept. 4, Status of Women Canada announced it would fund Pauktuutit’s 24-month project to engage Inuit men and boys in ending violence against women and girls.
Katharine Irngaut, manager of abuse prevention at Pauktuutit, said the money will allow the organization to reach out to communities in a way it never has before.
“Pauktuutit has been working with Inuit women for 30 years on violence prevention,” she said. “This is the first project we’ve be able to do working directly with men’s groups.”
The project, which is still in its early stages, is based on collaboration with different community and men’s groups in both Nunavut and Nunavik – although the project has a national scope, Irngaut said.
Irgnaut said the project is being led by advisory committees across both regions, which are now developing the tools and questions to be able to engage men in their communities.
“The project itself is to engage Inuit men and boys… to better understand the behaviours behind violence,” Irgnaut said. “We’re very excited to be actively engaging with these groups.”
Irgnaut said the groups will look at factors that may “normalize violence,” such as sexual and substance abuse. The groups will also consider how social factors may play a role – issues specific to the North such as overcrowded housing.
Irgnaut acknowledges that it is not only men perpetrating violence in Inuit communities, but believes that entire communities must be part of the solution.
Violence and abuse in Nunavut is currently reported as 14 times higher than the national average.
And data from Statistics Canada published in 2006 shows that 28 per cent of Nunavut women are victims of spousal violence, compared to seven per cent in the provinces.
The goal of the two year project is to establish a relationship with these men and boys, Irgnaut said, and develop a strategy that can be applied to any community that wants to implement it.
Status of Women put out a call for community-based proposals last year. The $300,000 earmarked for Pauktuutit comes from a federal envelope of money called Working Together: Engaging Communities to End Violence against Women and Girls.
“We are working with organizations across the country to end violence against women and girls and to offset the effects of violence within families and throughout our communities,” said Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq in a Sept. 4 release.
“By working collaboratively with local men and boys, this project will reduce gender-based violence in these communities, making them safer for everyone.”