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Safer Families...Safer Communities - COMPLETED

A public awareness campaign to promote safe and violence free homes and communities

Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB), the Miramichi Family Violence Prevention Network and Family Violence Outreach are pleased to announce an exciting new family violence public awareness campaign called Safer Families…Safer CommunitiesThis initiative was launched as a pilot project in the Miramichi on February 13, 2009.  The campaign is based on key individual and community safety messages on recognizing and responding to abuse, knowing the law, understanding the connection between the abuse of people and pets, and firearms safety.

Given the extent of family violence in Canada, there is a good chance that everyone knows somebody - either personally or professionally – who is experiencing abuse. Even if they don’t suspect it, they may know someone who needs help.  Learning to recognize the warning signs and risk factors is the first step. Reaching out and being supportive when they do see these signs, is the next step. This campaign will encourage everyone – including a victim’s friend, neigbour, co-worker or healthcare provider - to play a role in supporting victims of abuse and ending violence in our communities.

This initiative was inspired by a recent research study conducted by co-principal investigators, Deborah Doherty and Jennie Hornosty, who are associated with the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research. They found a strong link between family violence and firearm victimization of abused rural women, as well as abuse of pets as a way to control another family member.  As a researcher who is also the director of a front line agency, Dr. Doherty felt a responsibility to facilitate knowledge transfer in relation to the findings – not only at conferences and in academic papers – but directly with the public and those at risk of firearms victimization.

The campaign includes the following concrete tools and resources that will assist the general public and helping professions alike to play a supportive role when they know someone who is experiencing abuse. There are also some resources for individuals living with abuse.

Five fact sheets:
You can recognize the warning signs that someone is being abused
You can help prevent and respond to abuse in your community
You can help prevent firearms deaths and injuries
You can know how the law helps people living with abuse or violence in their lives.
You can help protect the safety of people and animals

Resource Cards
Am I a Victim of Family Violence
Miramichi Resource Directory

Other products
Feedback Postcard
Magnet - Pet Abuse
Magnet - Family Violence
Kid’s Paint Page

This project was funded by the Women’s Program Community Fund, Status of Women Canada.  Funding for the launch was provided by the Women’s Issues Branch, N.B. Executive Council Office. The initial phase of the project included a partnership with the dedicated and hardworking family violence network in the Miramichi to create and pilot this bilingual public awareness initiative. The working group who has been implementing this project included social service providers, healthcare providers, crisis workers, animal welfare workers, police and RCMP and many others. PLEIS-NB is eager to share the results of the project and offer the bilingual campaign materials across the province.

Anyone who is interested in promoting safer families and safer communities are encouraged to learn more about the links between family violence and other types of abuse and to use the campaign materials to work with others in their own regions to create new solutions and innovative responses to family violence. 

If you would like to learn about the Safer Families…Safer Communities initiative, please check out the PLEIS-NB website at or contact Deborah Doherty at 506-453-5369


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