Sharing the Family Violence Project of Waterloo Region with an International Audience
Last October, partners of the Family Violence Project were honoured to welcome members of the Munk School Domestic Violence Fellowship Program. This fellowship program group included 14 senior police officers from 6 Caribbean countries (Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Bahamas, and Jamaica) responsible for building, implementing, and leading dedicated domestic violence units, focused broadly on intimate partner violence and gender-based violence in their respective countries. We welcomed the trailblazers who founded the program, Cathy Brothers, former Executive Director of Carizon, and Sean Tout, former Staff Sergeant with the Waterloo Region Police Services, who spoke about their experience leading this important project.
The Family Violence Project (FVP) of Waterloo Region is a collaborative of agencies that provides wrap-around, seamless service to victims of domestic violence. Services are provided from one single access point, the Carizon office at 400 Queen Street South in Kitchener.
Cathy and Sean explained that the FVP was founded from the ground up, addressing an urgent need in our community to support those experiencing intimate partner violence and femicide. It was emphasized that it takes enormous courage on the part of a victim to come through one door and ask for help, let alone navigate a myriad of services scattered throughout the community. The FVP partners shared how the true collaboration between all members allows for a successful model centered around supporting the victim and what they need at each stage of their journey. Our hope in sharing this experience and our learnings with the Munk School Domestic Violence Fellowship Program is that the FVP will be a tool to help other communities and survivors around the world.