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Neighbours, Friends and Families: Immigrant and Refugee Communities Campaign

Neighbours, Friends and Families: Immigrant and Refugee Communities Campaign (NFF)

Beyond Our Lineage (B.O.L. - Speak!)

Keyword: Violence Against Women, Gender Equality

The Beyond Our Lineage: B.O.L - Speak! Campaign aims to speak out against all forms of gender violence within South Asian communities.

The name, “bol” translates to “speak” in South Asia languages and encourages members to challenge the intergenerational violence that occurs. Leaders from the Greater Toronto Area were brought together to learn more about Neighbour, Families and Friends campaign; and share their community expertise with one another.

Trainings were held after which each Project Consultant designed and facilitated their own community event to extend the campaign message. By challenging the silence, the campaign hopes to strengthen familial and community relationships and create safe supportive spaces for women to speak out.

Ensuring a Culturally Aware Campaign for the South Asian Community

By mainstreaming South Asian cultural knowledge and practice throughout its activities, peer leaders aimed to raise public awareness of the signs and risk factors of violence against women in the South Asian community, and helping South Asian newcomers close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man offer effective support.

After completing more than 5 focus groups and a 20 page literature review, we received feedback to ensure that this campaign would address the community's perceived cultural and communication barriers to the Neighbours Friends and Families messaging.

Neighbours Friends and Families workshops

52 South Asian women were trained as intergenerational peer leaders to host 32 sharing circles for 312 isolated South Asian women and seniors across the Greater Toronto Area. Each sharing circle was conducted in their mother tongue and included a discussion, distribution of reading materials about how to prevent gendered violence, and a social component to enhance group safety.

52 Trained 52 South Asian Peer Leaders to run NFF sharing circles
95% of peer leaders could name 2 referrals to their neighbours, families & friends who knew of an abuse situation
88% of peer leaders could define the bystander effect and describe the purpose of the NFF campaign

Youth leaders hosted three online social media chats which discussed bystander intervention. Youth developed their own memes, online posters, henna messaging, a series of satirical videos designed to get campaign messaging out in their peer groups using a youth engagement approach.

Neighbours, Friends and Families: Immigrant and Refugee Communities Campaign infograph

Visit the Immigrant and Refugee Neighbours Friends and Families website for information on Violence against Women, signs of violence, resources, trainings and news in the sector.


>> Click here to download: Beyond Our Lineage B.O.L. - SPEAK! Training Workbook

B.O.L. - Speak! Bollywood Videos

1. Slut Shaming

2. Laundry

3. Calm Down