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IRIS has started an exciting new initiative that brings together migrant, indigenous and women with disabilities in four communities in Canada; Saint John, New Brunswick; Toronto, Ontario; Regina, Saskatchewan; and Vancouver, B.C. to work together in addressing structural violence in the communities in which they live.

In November 2015 IRIS held a national meeting in Toronto that brought all our local partners together to learn about each other’s issues, strategize for change and begin the solidarity work towards ending violence in ALL women’s lives!

Women in Canada come from many diverse backgrounds and live with multiple experiences of marginalization and with each layer of exclusion, whether that is migrant, indigenous or disability status – other barriers to their safety are added.

It has is clear through IRIS’ past community development work that there are certain circumstances and/or issues, i.e., un or under-employment, exclusion from education, racial discrimination, pre-migration experiences of war, history of violence and colonization, institutionalization, etc. that increase migrant, indigenous or women with disabilities’ vulnerability to violence and abuse.

Work to-date has not been effective in changing this reality, we believe because the experience of violence against these populations of women is systemic and not recognized as such.

Project Partners:
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society – Vancouver
Inland Refugee Society of B.C. – Vancouver, BC
Native Women’s Resource Centre – Toronto
Across Boundaries – An Ethno-Racial Mental Health Centre – Toronto
Saint John Human Development Council – Saint John
Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research – New Brunswick
Newo Yotina Friendship Centre – Regina
Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre – Regina, Saskatchewan
Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses
Canadian Association for Community Living