MAWS provides information only. If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free crisis line at: 1-877-977-0007
November 16, 2021: Today, the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) is launching a multi-lingual public awareness campaign to support immigrant, newcomer and refugee women and families experiencing gender-based violence (GBV). The campaign’s message is “You Are Not Alone,” and features videos in five languages – Arabic, Punjabi, Mandarin, Persian and English – along with the Manitoba 24/7 toll-free Crisis and Support Line and MAWS website information.
Women of cultural and linguistic diversity often face challenges like language or cultural barriers, lack of knowledge of support services, financial constraints, and uncertain immigration status, all of which can make them uniquely vulnerable to abuse. These, in addition to the general stigma in society around gender-based and family violence, can make newcomer and refugee women less likely to know that help is available, as well as where to seek it out.
Manitoba shelters are seeing more women and families from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds seek support and refuge from violence. Through the multilingual videos and poster, the MAWS campaign aims to connect these survivors with support programs, including the confidential Crisis and Support Line (1-877-977-0007).
The Hon. Cathy Cox, Minister responsible for Status of Women, said “All Manitobans deserve to live without fear for their safety. This multi-lingual public awareness campaign will serve to strengthen and promote the services that already exist to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence. Our government is committed to supporting newcomers or refugees who are experiencing trauma or abuse, including survivors of gender-based violence who otherwise often slip through the cracks and do not receive the services they need.”
Deena Brock, Provincial Coordinator, Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters says, “The pandemic has increased the risks and severity of gender-based violence, particularly for those already facing barriers that would make them vulnerable to abuse. Newcomer and refugee women and families often experience a greater sense of isolation due to language barriers, fear of losing custody of their children due to an uncertain immigration status, dependence on a family member who may be the primary sponsor for their immigration, and so on. We hope that these multilingual videos reach Mandarin, Punjabi, Persian and Arabic language speakers across Manitoba who may be experiencing violence, and that they know that help is always available.”
MAWS would like to thank the BC Society of Transition Houses (BCSTH), who created the original “You Are Not Alone” Campaign for newcomer women, and shared their resources with MAWS. Additionally, advertising for the MAWS campaign was made possible through collaboration with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) and funds provided by PrairieAction Foundation.
Click here to view the English-language poster.
Watch the videos below: