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Funding to end violence

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To be able to help, you need to know how to help.

Now, $7,200 from the Prairieaction Foundation to the Laurel Centre will help those at the Men’s Resource Centre heal.

Prairieaction, a grassroots foundation started in 1997 by a small group of women, raises money to support frontline centres and research supporting women and men who’ve been victims of violence. 

"Because we don’t provide frontline services like the Laurel Centre and the other agencies we fund, we’re very focused on research," said Louise Waldman, executive director of the Praireaction Foundation. "Frontline agencies are so busy with the day-to-day service delivery, providing support and helping people, we wanted them to access funds so they can look and ask ‘are the services we’re providing the right ones?’"

The Laurel Centre was started in 1985 to provide services to women who were sexually abused as children, said executive director Suhad Bisharat. Today, in addition to helping women, they run the Men’s Resource Centre, which is where the $7,200 is headed.

"One of the things we noticed is that there is a lot of research related to women, but there wasn’t enough related to men, especially Canadian research," said Bisharat.

The research is important because research allows one to look at bigger-picture questions that sometimes there isn’t time to look at when focusing on meeting the needs of people in crisis, said Waldman.

"So research lets you look at things like what models worked, what treatment models work, how can we look at preventing sexual violence, or family violence, or bullying?" said Waldman.
At the Laurel Centre, research is an important component to any of the direct services, said Bisharat.

"We normally address the current issues that the men or women are bringing to us," said Bisharat. "But for us to look at the bigger picture we need the research. The whole (world of) social services is revolving and evolving by the day, and looking at models that really work with specific populations, without the research, we would not have access to that information and it will not be able to be tested and evaluated."

This year the Prairieaction Foundation gave out $261,430 to centres and RESOLVE (Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse), a prairie-based research network at the University of Manitoba aimed at ending violence.

"They do academic research but they are linked with the community," said Waldman. "I think there’s a stereotype of academics that they are very detached and not practical, but (RESOLVE is) very focused on practical research that can help in terms of elevating, preventing violence, helping people recover."

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