Violence against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in New Brunswick

The Violence against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in New Brunswick research team submitted a rational for the revival of the Violence against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women research team which was affiliated with the MMFC from 1993-1998 to the Acting Director of the MMFC. The rational was approved by the MMFC Executive Committee and Board of Directors in April 2015.

Research Objectives:
The research objectives of the team are:
- to better understand characteristics of the immigrant women’s population and how those who have settled in New Brunswick in the past decade compare to those who have been here longer;
- to employ post-colonial, feminist research strategies and Participatory Action Research (PAR) designed to stimulate group reflection on the issue of domestic violence and to motivate participants to act collectively to address the problem;
- to explore the nature, extent and impact of multiple forms of violence experienced by different groups of immigrant women (19 years old and up) within both urban and rural New Brunswick;
- to identify the existing institutional mechanisms (i.e., policies, services, strategies) and the organizations working with immigrant women (in general and more specifically in the domain of gender violence) in order to analyze successes, gaps, and lessons learned; and
- to develop practical resources and strategies to assist diverse immigrant groups, community organizations, non-governmental organizations and public service providers address issues of domestic and community violence within the different immigrant groups in New Brunswick.

Research Goals:
The research team have medium and long term goals. The medium-term goals are:
- secure research funding for a variety of projects from a several fund granting organizations such as the Status of Women Canada (SWC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the New Brunswick Health Foundation (NBHF), etc.;
- focus on immigrant women during the pre-natal and early childhood period;
- establish research partnerships regionally, nationally, and internationally;
- enhance the knowledge and understanding of domestic violence in New Brunswick as well as more broadly in Atlantic Canada, which will serve as a platform for the policy and service development planning for the services offered to immigrant women regarding domestic violence; and
- produce action-orientated research that will result in usable products in a variety of forms, including online resource material, videos, and other demonstrative products which will be accessible to service providers and members of local, provincial, and national immigrant communities.

The Long-term Goals are:
- ensure that immigrant women’s voices are present at the provincial level through the creation of a provincial immigrant advisory committee;
- develop a family violence tool kit for immigrant groups and public service providers and test it against the standards of cultural sensitivity;
- pilot the family violence tool kit with specific immigrant groups so that the resources are translated into different languages and are culturally appropriated; and
- keep expanding the research partnerships regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The team worked closely together on a funding proposal to the Status of Women Canada entitled, “Overcoming Structural and Systemic Barriers: a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Immigrant Women in New Brunswick.” The proposal was submitted by Alex LeBlanc of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council and if successful will provide funding for three years of activities including partnership building, a needs assessment and work on structural change.

Costanza Torri, Department of Sociology, UNB - Academic coordinator
Hyasinter Rugoro, immigrant woman, Canadian Armed Forces, Fredericton. Community coordinator
Team Members
Rina Arseneault, Associate Director, MMFC,
Silke Brabander, Women Equality Branch, Government of NB
Cathy Holtmann, Director, MMFC
Alex LeBlanc, Managing Director, NB Multicultural Council Inc
Tracey Rickards, Faculty of Nursing, UNB
Mirela Tuluca, St. Stephen Multicultural Association
Fiona Williams, Liberty Lane, Fredericton
Phylomène Zangio, Université de Moncton

To read the Needs Assessment report click here

Symposium "Breaking Barriers & Moving Forward: Narratives of Challenges Faced by Asian Women" May 18& 19 Wu Center Film poster and Symposium poster & registration