Friday, 21 September 2012

Aboriginal Violence and Abuse Prevention Project

Researchers from the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) and the Canadian Red Cross have received $2.5 million in funding to study a violence prevention program for Aboriginal communities in Canada and Australia. The grant, awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), will fund a major national project: Walking the Prevention Circle (WTPC): Re-searching Community Capacity Building for Violence Prevention. 

The project follows Aboriginal traditional methods and provides education and mentoring, allowing communities to create nurturing and stable environments for children and youth. Leaders are trained
to lead education sessions for youth and adults on aspects of violence, child abuse, bullying and building healthy relationships.
According to Dr. Debra Pepler, this grant provides “an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with communities in learning how they engage with the Red Cross community capacity building process to share knowledge, promote stronger relationships, and move from the cycle of violence resulting from colonization to the circle of healing based in Aboriginal traditions.” Dr. Debra Pepler is the Scientific Co-Director of PREVNet and a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University, Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. This grant contributes significantly to PREVNet’s mission to stop bullying and promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. 

Dr. Pepler will be collaborating with Shelley Cardinal, National Aboriginal Advisor for the Canadian Red Cross, as well as other researchers and partners for the five-year project. The project will receive more than $1.2 million in matching funding from partnering organizations.

Walking the Prevention Circle has received consistent acclaim from Aboriginal communities as being one of the best prevention programs available,” says Cardinal. “This funding will provide an incredible opportunity for the Red Cross to identify and understand how we contribute to healthy change in Aboriginal communities and then share that learning.” 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bullying Prevention Tips for Back to School

With school now well underway, most children have settled into a new routine with new classmates, friends, teachers and some new challenges. But did you know that more than a million Canadian school-aged children are bullied at least once, each and every week? With this in mind, it’s important to think about bullying prevention, in the schoolyard and beyond. 

Teachers, parents and youth professionals can help protect children against bullying at school, says Dr. Wendy Craig, an international leader in research on bullying, Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, and Scientific Co-director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network). Below are some evidence-based bullying prevention tips provided by PREVNet, a network of Canadian researchers and national organizations working with children and youth:

Top 10 Bullying Facts and Prevention Tips

 1)     Bullying is a relationship problem in which a person or group repeatedly uses power and aggression to cause distress to another. It can be verbal, physical, social, or electronic. 

 2)     Both children who are bullied and who bully are at risk for academic problems. Children who are bullied are at risk for absenteeism, and children who bully are at risk for dropping out. 

 3)   Peers are present during 88% of bullying incidents. When peers intervene, bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, 57% of the time.

 4)     Make it clear that you think bullying is wrong and encourage children to stand up for those who are bullied — they can’t always do it themselves.

 5)     Understand that children who walk away and get help are part of the solution. If they stay and watch, they are part of the problem.

 6)     Be proactive. Use Bullying Awareness Week (Nov. 12-18) and other opportunities to start a discussion with your class or your children and address the topic often.

 7)     Refer to the new Bullying Awareness Week Teacher’s Guide, created by PREVNet and the Family Channel. The guide features activities and role-playing scenarios for the classroom, as well as resources and tip sheets for students and parents. See info below.

 8)     Let kids know that you will help solve the problem, whether the child is being bullied, is bullying others, or is a witness to bullying.

 9)     Be a positive role model by demonstrating acceptance of all differences.

 10) Tell children to invite those who are bullied to play somewhere else.

New Canadian Teacher’s Guide to Bullying

Teachers and parents across Canada can access a new guide called StandUp! Bullying Awareness Week Teacher’s Guide to help deal with bullying. The guide was created by PREVNet in partnership with the Family Channel, and is now available for download from the Family Channel’s website ( 

The guide helps teachers prepare for Bullying Awareness Week (November 12-18, 2012). It also features activities and role-playing scenarios for the classroom, as well as contests, resources and tip sheets for students, teachers and parents.

When it comes to developing our youth, remember that fostering positive, healthy relationships is the answer to bullying in schools, beyond the schoolyard and in future years.