Children are most likely to encounter violence in their own home. Living in a violent home hurts children, even if they aren't being directly abused. Often they have difficulty concentrating in school, can seem aggressive or withdrawn, or can have difficulty making friends. Children from families that are living in poverty, poor housing, experiencing unemployment, substance abuse and family violence are more likely to become involved in youth delinquency and adult criminal activity.
Community investment in family support programs and accessible recreational facilities promote healthy family relationships and positive child development. These programs can help families and children build healthier relationships at home and at school.
- Kid proofing or Child Identification Project - Ask your local police force, or the RCMP to help host an I.D. session to record children's fingerprints, description and other details.
- Violent Toy Trade-in - Invite your local crime-stoppers association to host a toy trade-in. Children can exchange their violent toy(s) for a non-violent gift such as a yo-yo or Lego blocks. Some CrimeStoppers organizations offer school programs or host violent toy trade-in events. They can be contacted at (800) 222-8477 or see www.canadiancrimestoppers.org
- Hands are for Helping - Have students trace their hands and cut out the pattern. Encourage them to write a word or draw a picture that shows hands are for helping, not for hurting.
- Play and Parenting Workshop - Invite children and parents for a workshop on play and parenting skills.
- Family Fun Day - Bring families together in a fun and inviting atmosphere by hosting a barbeque or picnic, fun games, or free activities such as swimming, basketball and soccer.
- Take Charge of Your Television - while watching TV, discuss the violence that you witness and view through a critical lens. Encouraging children to think about what they see on TV and how they feel about it are important steps to analyzing it. Work together and watch together to find shows that are appropriate for family viewing.
Looking for women’s anti-violence resources in Canada to help you plan your event or connect with a community partner? Check out our extensive list.