The Renewing Resources for Safer Communities Project was an innovative partnership between the anti-violence sector and the resource sector (particularly forestry and mining) that aimed to improve the resource sector’s capacity to respond to violence in relationships. EVA BC and the Ending Relationship Abuse Society (ERA) came together to manage this 1-year violence prevention project, working in partnership with the BC Federation of Labour and the United Steelworkers Union. What was unique about this project was the focus on the resource industries and the partnerships with labour. While violence in relationships is not necessarily more common in these industries, project organizers chose to focus on them for two reasons:
- Including the needs of rural and isolated communities is important and these industries are major employers in rural and isolated communities.
- Involving men in speaking up about the issue of relationship violence is critical to creating safer and healthier communities, and these industries are operated by a predominantly male work force.
The action plan of the Renewing Resources for Safer Communities Project included hosting free training sessions around the province in key areas identified by forestry and mining personnel. At these sessions, participantslearned what exactly defines “violence in relationships” as well as what constitutes an appropriate response from a corporate, union and individual perspective. They received a Tool Kit on CD to assist with proactive prevention strategies, including a draft policy. The vision of this initiative was to reduce violence and to assist employers to develop skills and knowledge to respond. Part of the Renewing Resources project was the film Men Speak Up, Ending Violence Together: ‘Men in high-profile leadership positions from across BC have come together to speak out about violence against women in this ground-breaking non-partisan film. The film combines news footage from recent cases of domestic violence homicides in BC with short interviews about the importance of men speaking to other men to challenge societal attitudes about violence against women. A partnership between the EVA BC and ERA BC.’