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Research project has aim of reducing violence against women

Patrick Park Tighe, executive director of the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, poses for a photo in his office on Main Street in Stephenville.
Patrick Park Tighe, executive director of the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, poses for a photo in his office on Main Street in Stephenville. - Frank Gale

Patrick Park Tighe says there is a real need for healing and that’s what will reduce the amount of violence in the community.

“You’re not hurting other people if you haven’t been hurting yourself,” he said. “So we want to help out with that.”

Park Tighe said there’s absolutely a lot of violence against women, not only in the Bay St. George community, but across the country.

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That was highlighted by the sad anniversary on Wednesday of 14 women killed in Montreal 28 years ago with a Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence.

“Violence against women is happening and we’re not seeing it slow down,” he said in a Thursday interview.

Park Tighe, executive director of the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, said that is the motivation behind hiring a person to manage a research project looking at reducing male violence in Bay St. George area communities.

He said when you look at the court dockets, there are a number of domestic assaults on the go in the area and unfortunately men perpetuate a lot of it.

From the research project planned, they’ve looked at ways of engaging young men and boys in the community to see what kind of programs they need to address the root cause of violence, work on healthy relations and improving self-esteem.

The reason the Friendship Centre wants to tackle the problem around self-esteem is because it has seen groups like the Newfoundland Aboriginal Network step forward to address violence in the community.

“We (Friendship Centre) feel it’s good to have them (NAWN) participate in the solutions,” Park Tighe said.

Through the research project, the researcher will try to do as much outreach as he/she can. The idea is to get some feedback from men and boys creating a framework for a bigger project.

“We (Friendship Centre) would like to have a year-round project to support the young people in the community,” he said.

Park Tighe said there wouldn’t be a lasting solution without the men being part of that solution.

He said men need supports and need healing and that’s something the Friendship Centre would like to see happen as quickly as possible.

This initial research project will take place during a 23-week duration starting on Jan. 3.

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