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How to Talk to Your Teen About Healthy Relationships

2017-12-19T17:05:01+00:00May 16, 2016|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, Posters, Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine|

Mom and son laughingEvery parent has those moments when we’re suddenly reminded how quickly our child is growing up: the first step, the first tooth, the first time they walk to school without us. For many parents, one of the most challenging milestones is realizing our child is interested in “romance” and dating. The best way to prepare them—and protect them—is to teach them how to build strong, healthy relationships.

Our children learn about relationships every day, simply by observing the world around them.  As Director of Violence Prevention at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, I can tell you that most of what they see is not good. Throughout their lifetime, the average child in Canada will witness thousands of examples of unhealthy relationships— at school, on social media, in celebrity gossip magazines, music videos, movies, and TV. If we don’t teach our children about relationships someone else will, and we won’t like the results!

Healthy Relationships Start Young: How SERC Helps Newcomer Youth Develop Lifelong Healthy Relationships

2017-12-19T17:20:37+00:00February 12, 2016|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, Guest bloggers, Impact stories|

Group photo of teensThis post was originally published on Klinic's blog.

It is 3:45pm and Bre (SERC Sexuality & Reproductive Health Facilitator) and I are sitting outside a core area school waiting for the acceptable time to go in and take over the classroom. Bre tells me a familiar message I have heard when out with Klinic Teen Talk staff - we don’t want to get in the way of teachers and students as their day is winding down, so we are never early, and never late. It seems to me that this fits with some of the core things we are going to talk about with these students today: how we communicate our needs and respect those of others.

How to reach LGBTQ teens when we teach healthy relationships

2017-12-19T18:38:44+00:00June 12, 2015|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, How to|

CoupleWhen we talk about healthy relationships, the language we use can make people feel excluded and uncomfortable, or on the other hand, understood and accepted. The same goes for programs that teach young people about healthy relationships: it’s important for these programs to be inclusive of gender and all walks of life.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation invests in Teen Healthy Relationships programs as part of our violence prevention grants. When these programs apply for funding, the Foundation asks them for an inclusion and diversity policy.

How to help your teen recognize unhealthy online relationships

2017-12-19T17:38:26+00:00August 12, 2015|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, How to|

Teens taking selfieFor anyone who knows a teenager, it won’t come as a shock that one quarter of kids age 13 to 17 are online “almost constantly.”

A lot of that time is spent communicating with friends and peers: texting, Instagramming and Snapchatting. And for parents, a lot of that communication goes unseen and unheard.

Although parents can’t possibly monitor all of their children’s online interactions, they can help set the tone for healthy online relationships.

Making a Commitment to #HealthyLove

2016-02-08T13:30:10+00:00February 8, 2016|Gender-based violence|

Margaret NewallThis Valentine's Day, make a commitment to healthy love!  

For every commitment you share on Facebook and Twitter from February 8-14 using the hashtag #HealthyLove, Margaret Newall will generously donate $2 (up to $2,000) to our Teen Healthy Relationship Programs!

Want to know why Margaret is supporting teen healthy relationships? Find out why she's made a commitment to healthy love.

Five ways parents can teach healthy relationship skills

2017-12-19T18:40:29+00:00May 22, 2015|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, How to|

Girl smilingYou’re 14 and you’re at a party. A group of friends come up to you and one pulls out a cigarette. “Wanna smoke?” she asks, as she lights up and starts passing it around.

You don’t want to get in trouble for smoking. But you also don’t want to get “unfriended” for not smoking.

How do you respond? How do you teach your children to respond?

This is the kind of question participants discuss in the teen healthy relationships programs that are funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. The programs teach strategies for developing boundaries, empathy, assertiveness and conflict resolution -- skills that parents can also teach at home.

Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

2022-01-04T15:29:05+00:00November 26, 2013|Gender-based violence, Women’s poverty|

We've all seen the recent headlines with high profile allegations of domestic abuse. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends and family ask the same question of those stories: "why doesn't she just leave?"

Too many people assume that if a woman is in an abusive relationship that she is making a choice to stay and that she has the power to end the abuse if she just leaves.

This October, Celebrate Body Confidence

2017-12-19T16:17:30+00:00August 28, 2017|Empowering girls|

It’s back to school season! The thought of a new grade or even a new school may be a little daunting for many children, but there’s the usual excitement to see that old friend again, say hi to their favourite teacher, or go shopping for that cool back to school item with parents or guardians. However, for far too many of our children, back to school means back to body shaming and size- and appearance-based discrimination on a daily basis – and that’s not including cyberbullying which never takes summer break.

According to PREVNet, Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention, 75% of people say they’ve been affected by bullying and 78% of Canadians say not enough is being done to stop bullying in their community. And unfortunately, when it comes to cyberbullying, we know from a recent Canadian Women’s Foundation study that Canadians aren’t optimistic about the future: 87% of Canadians believe the next generation of women in Canada will be just as or more likely to experience online harassment. The effects of bullying online and offline can include lowered self-esteem, habitual school absenteeism, poor academic performance, and heightened risks for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, engaging in unhealthy relationships, criminal activities, and even suicide.

Empowering Girls Through Culture, History, and Friendship: Strong Girls of Inlailawatash

2017-12-19T16:28:36+00:00June 15, 2017|Empowering girls|

When a shy girl gradually emerges from her shell and develops the confidence to lead a group activity, Jennifer Hamman knows that the Strong Girls of Inlailawatash program is succeeding.

“Just seeing them take those opportunities to take a little risk, to be a little vulnerable, and to let themselves just be themselves has been a really awesome thing to watch.”

The program, which receives funding from the Canadian Women's Foundation, provides a rare girls-only space for Tsleil-Waututh First Nation girls aged 9-13.

The Tsleil-Waututh community is set on the Burrard Inlet, surrounded by urban North Vancouver. As program coordinator, Hamman organizes the weekly program meetings, which aim to foster healthy relationships and connect the girls to their culture in a positive way. Hamman, who is also the Tsleil-Waututh Community Therapist, talks about how the program helps develop girls’ confidence, connectedness, and resilience.