The Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association (CAIWA), in collaboration with Red Deer College, is set to present their findings after an intensive research program into domestic violence in immigrant communities.
The Alberta Human Services-funded program allowed for thorough research into how Alberta can provide more adequate services to immigrant communities regarding domestic violence. The group will present their findings to community stakeholders, elected leaders, domestic abuse service providers on Nov. 29th at the RDC Learning Common from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tabitha Phiri, women’s economic security and research program coordinator for CAIWA, said the research involved men and women in immigrant communities, as well as the service providers who work in those communities.
“First, we conducted focus groups,” Phiri said. “We had six focus groups – four for women, one for men and one for service providers. They shared their thoughts and views on how domestic violence is defined in their countries of origin. Many gave their views on what is considered domestic violence.”
Phiri explained it is important for service providers to be aware of cultural context in order to provide proper education on what is considered domestic violence in Canada. She added service providers during their discussion pointed out that immigrants who are unwilling to speak up about violence and language barriers were issues that came up during the focus groups.
“Sometimes we fail to reach out to them because we too quickly jump to helping them. Education needs to be provided so culturally competent services can be provided,” she said.
Following the focus groups, the group conducted further one on one interviews, which included input from seniors, youth, men and women. They then presented their findings from their data analysis to service providers who specialize in domestic violence.
“We are hoping to get people from Edmonton, Calgary and other communities to come together with us as well so we can come up with an action plan. We are hoping to recommend our findings to the legislature and possibly all the way up to parliament,” Phiri said.