Saint John is one of four sites in Canada which will be piloting a project focusing on tackling violence against some of the most vulnerable populations of women.
These four groups of women include Indigenous women, refugee women and women who have intellectual and mental health disabilities and these groups experience among the highest levels of violence in Canada according to Doris Rajan of the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society, which is leading the project nationally.
"Each of these communities have what we're referring to as historically shaped violence, based on their different experiences," says Rajan.
"Their issues are often not heard because their experiences are so different, and those differential experiences have led to really some of the highest rates of violence in the country against these four populations."
These four groups of women are not supported to be present at national, provincial and regional tables according to Rajan.
The project is called Working Together: Combating Structural Violence against Indigenous, Racialized, Refugee Women and Women Labeled with Intellectual and Mental Health Disabilities and the Saint John Human Development Council is leading the project here in Saint John.
The community room at Saint John police headquarters was packed today for a community stakeholder meeting on the project, which included representation from various community groups and police agencies as well.