Community, People

Youth council tackles gender-based violence

July 26, 2021

The Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children has created a Youth Advisory Council to prevent gender-based violence.

The council recently met for the first time and Kristina Pringle, Youth Education Coordinator, said the council is responsible for participating in research through evaluating preventive education programs and program feedback. In addition, creating a public education campaign for youth is also planned.

“We’ll take this research and these dialogues and put it into action by posting them on Instagram, TikTok and on our website,” she said.

Advocacy will also play an important role for the council. Members are interested in talking to Western Education teacher candidates and political youth councils, but these have yet been firmed up. However, they are scheduled to address various local youth groups and organizations soon, Pringle said.

“When we’re focusing on young people and their voices, concerns and what they’re going through in real time, we can focus on preventative models so we can start building positive skill sets and using that peer-to-peer model to share information,” she said. “When it’s young people sharing information, youth are much more receptive to having conservations and listening and learning from their peers.”

There are 15 youth on the advisory council and their ages are 13 to 24 years of age. Although there is a wide range of ages on the council, Pringle said everyone will have a voice.

“We’re going to create that space where it’s safe to talk and ask questions and we’re going to be doing some mentorship training with our more senior members,” she said.

The council is run by Neighbours, Friends and Families, which is a public education campaign aimed at ending domestic violence by igniting vital conversations and exploring research through webinars, Healthy Talks, book clubs, and educational programs. Neighbours, Friends and Families is part of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women Children.