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“If I Had Only Known” - Abuse Project Engages Newcomer Communities

March 4, 2011

TORONTO, March 4, 2011 – Family Service Toronto has chosen the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2011) to launch a series of publications for its If I Had Only Known project - a groundbreaking initiative that engages newcomer communities in the development of powerful messages around abuse in close personal relationships.

The project, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has been coordinated through Family Service Toronto's Violence Against Women program, which offers support in several languages to women who have been, or are being, abused.

The project culminates March 8 with the publication of a series of brochures (in six languages) on family violence, elder abuse and partner education and support. Each brochure includes information on Canadian laws, individual rights and responsibilities and resources.

Newcomer communities and related languages involved in the development and production of the brochures are Afghan (Pashto and Dari); Iranian (Farsi); Sri Lankan (Tamil); Somalian (Somali) and South Asian (Punjabi).

The launch event is scheduled for 9 am in Room 310 at Metro Toronto Hall, 55 John St., Toronto, M5V 3C6. Remarks will be at 9:30 am.

“No project could offer more hope and opportunity for change than this one,” notes Margaret Hancock, Executive Director, Family Service Toronto. “And we are pleased that we have funding to continue working on abuse issues with many of these communities over the coming year.”
The launch event will feature a short address by Almas Jiwani, President, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women, UN Women Canada. She will provide an international context for the project.

Also speaking will be Hoori Hamboyan, Legal Counsel, Children's Law & Family Violence Policy Unit, Justice Canada and Project Co-ordinator Vinita Puri of the Violence Against Women Unit, Family Service Toronto.

Family Service Toronto, a United Way member agency, is one of the city’s oldest nonprofit social service organizations, touching the lives of more than 70,000 people in need each year. Through counselling, education, social action, advocacy and community development, FST services help to strengthen families and individuals and build healthier communities.


For more information contact:
Brian Porter
Director, Marketing & Communications
Family Service Toronto
Phone: 416-595-9230 x225
Cell: 416-464-0761

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Family Service Toronto


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