FACE TO FACE MEETINGS A key partnership with ‘Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities’ has informed and shaped so much of the qualitative work we have accomplished to date. Odelle Pike and an ever-growing list of feminist activists have shaped the way we are asking questions and building key concepts for the discussion groups. Beginning with two trips to Labrador (key meetings with the Mokami Status of Women Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and a paper survey session in Rigolet), outreach to date has also included an early presentation to the Board of the NL Federation of Labour in Terra Nova and a timely, dense and powerful connect with all of the Executive Directors of the Status of Women from across the province in Grand Falls-Windsor at their AGM in September.
Your ‘tiny but mighty’ duo of policy analysts will be travelling as far as our limited travel budget allows! Qualitative data is being gathered steadily – initially thanks to a series of road trips. We couldn’t wait to communicate directly with frontline workers alongside women who were so eager to share their relevant lived ‘DV in the workplace’ experiences. Our two Roundtables in Stephenville and a bonus meeting in Corner Brook, along with a recent focus group at the Multicultural Women’s Organization here in St John’s have left us neck deep in notes and so anxious to talk to more groups and take…more notes! Special thanks to all the Status of Women Councils who continue to help us arrange meetings with key community front line service providers.
BEFORE THE END OF 2018
We are so thrilled to share that both Tina Pretty from UNIFOR/FFAW and the Allan Horwood from the Military Family Resource Centre in St. John’s leapt at the chance to share the survey with their networks – putting the survey link on their websites immediately. The FFAW went above and beyond – printing the survey link on 2000 business cards along with distributing the cards to women’s advocates and including the link and background flyer in their magazine – with a distribution reach of 10,000 workers. Included were the fish and processing and non-fish industrial units along with their members in brewery, hospitality and metal fabrication. We are so grateful for all the help we are getting from so many corners.
Finally, some of the most critical moments in the project, in addition to the Roundtables and survey sessions described, have been the one-in-one interviews with DV survivors and their co-workers. We are so grateful for those who have reached out by email – willing to share their lived experience and ideas for better resourced workplaces.
Has your workplace been impacted by domestic violence – we want to interview you!
The good news is that a national survey on Domestic Violence (DV) and its impact on the workforce, was circulated in 2014 and, thanks to this initial work by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and an amazing team at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) – there is ongoing work rolling right across the country. The bad news is that back in 2014, this survey’s uptake wasn’t strong in Atlantic Canada. There weren’t enough surveys completed for the results to be ‘statistically significant.’ So, the first task for the DV@WORK-NL team was to re-jig the original 2014 survey – and launch it again!
We are determined to increase participation in the survey in Newfoundland and Labrador! We want to ensure that, along with key cross-provincial comparisons that the data from the survey will offer, we will also be able to provide and analyse some new kinds of data – specifically relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador. So…
This summer involved considerable consultation with a whole host of partners. This involved painstaking edits to the original survey by NAWN, OAWA, NLFL, the Mokami Status of Women Council – along with feedback from our own board at the St. John’s Status of Women Council, and feedback by the Canadian Federation of Students at Memorial University and the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP) here in St. John’s – just to name a few. By the end of the summer our survey was carefully re-jigged with Newfoundland and Labrador in mind!
International students at MUN recommended some new questions that relate specifically to ‘precarious labour.’ They challenged us to gather data on students working inside the university itself and outside in precarious, part-time jobs. They also encouraged us to look carefully at how immigrants and refugees might be intercepting workplace supports.
Key activists from SHOP pointed out that working alone (or even isolated in a home office) might offer additional/unique challenges to women in need of resources.
Rich discussions in Corner Brook helped identify the way DV can impact LGBTQ2S survivors. Just as an example, without the right emergency supports, an abuser and their victim could find themselves in the same room in a shelter!
This much is clear: when it comes to examining the way DV impacts our workplaces – critical resources need to be both identified and developed. The support provided in our workplaces via coworkers and employers – can play an integral role in how things play out. Preliminary discussions and interviews have made us even more determined to angle in on key demographics that have, to date, been sidelined out of community discussions. Needless to say – our list of questions is growing daily.
SPREADING THE WORD VIA NETWORKS AND LISTSERVES AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS
After the editing was completed, the survey was quickly sent back into supportive hands at the Centre for Research and Education Woman and Children (CREWAC) at UWO. We were all so excited to see the online survey activated and so grateful for the ongoing support from CREWAC. Special thanks is owed to the CLC, who shared outreach ideas, press kits and resources and especially to Robyn Pike here at the St. John’s Status of Women Council, who brought the local campaign to life with some expertly crafted posters and press releases.
We are excited to report that on this front – there is still more to come; the survey outreach-team is not finished yet! The more surveys we manage to have filled out over the next few months – the more accurate our data will be here in Newfoundland and Labrador – and the better resources will be able to both identify and build. If you have already filled out the survey yourself – you can help the team enormously by sharing the link with family and friends and co-workers. The survey link will be active until January 2019 – but don’t wait until then!https://sjwomenscentre.ca/dvatworknl/