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Prevention Programs Train Youth, Parents & Communities

Published: 10/27/2014 by Canadian Red Cross

» Health & Wellness

With a number of recent domestic and international responses, such as the 2013 southern Alberta floods and Typhoon Haiyan, the Canadian Red Cross is often associated with providing assistance to communities affected by a disaster. However, the Red Cross also provides other programs such as the Violence and Abuse Prevention program. In the program, youth learn how to create healthy relationships and adults learn how to build safer relationships in their communities to better support youth. 

Violence & Abuse Prevention 

In the Violence and Abuse Prevention program promotes a whole community approach. In communities, schools and organizations, the Red Cross provides training and consultation to communities and schools about how to establish safe policies to reduce risk. 


Targeted resources exist to support dynamic violence prevention initiatives in Aboriginal communities. For adults and youth, workshops and training are available to tackle topics like preventing bullying and harassment and promoting healthy youth dating relationships.


Across Alberta, the Violence and Abuse Prevention program has been well-received and is growing. In 2011/2012, the program experienced a 300 per cent increase in reach including 48 communities across Alberta and 37,674 youth. In 2013/ 2014 the program reached 43, 600 youth through workshops and training.


These programs are designed to empower youth and be responsive to community needs.  By developing flexible resources based on current Canadian research such as PREVNet, educators are supported in meeting curriculum outcomes and building capacity in their schools and communities.


Through the Beyond the Hurt program, junior high and high school students teach younger students about the impacts of bullying and harassment, as well as successful intervention, and prevention strategies.


Canadian-based research shows, that peer education is key to promoting change in young people about healthy behaviours. Successful youth facilitator programs have operated in schools in Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Red Deer, Slave Lake, and many other Alberta communities.


The Canadian Red Cross has trained teachers from public, Catholic, and private schools across Canada to deliver Healthy Youth Relationship lessons to secondary school students. As well, Be Safe kits (formerly known as the CARE kit) are actively being used to teach children about rights and safety in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classes. After an initial training session, all program instructors receive support and updates from program staff in each of the communities and are recertified on an annual basis.


Most of the Red Cross workshops for adults are available online and in person, ranging from parent information sessions to in-depth professional development. These include: 10 Steps to Creating Safe Environments, Violence Against Children & Youth, Promoting Healthy Youth Relationships, Preventing Bullying and Harassment , Walking the Prevention Circle for Aboriginal communities ,  Respect in Schools, and Respect in Sports


The program also complements recovery efforts following a disaster. In Slave Lake, for example, Red Cross violence and abuse prevention personnel have worked with each school in the community to support the recovery from the devastating forest fires. This work has included highlighting current research about the impacts of disasters on children and the connections between disasters and interpersonal violence.


For more information about our trainings, workshops, and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.redcross.ca or contact us at 1-800-852-6187 and RespectED.Alberta@redcross.ca