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Building resilience in rural Nova Scotia

Responding to violence and trauma through system, community and individual interventions

Traditionally, those impacted by family violence have been viewed through an individual deficit-based lens, as opposed to looking structurally at the systems issues that contribute to and perpetuate violence at social and individual levels in our communities. Using a structural lens allows us to move away from solely blaming individuals and further examine the impact systems have in the creation and maintenance of violence in our communities. 

This presentation will look at how policy-driven governmental systems are held under-accountable, contradicting the aims of community-based prevention, and perpetuate individual over-accountability and ethical failure. We will explore the impact of increased monitoring, stigma, and rigid policies on the psychosocial, ethical selves of underserved individuals in rural communities. Embracing a structural approach, grounded in restorative practices, health promotion, and human rights, will allow us to look at innovative policies and programs that can reduce systems violations, thereby supporting individual psychosocial well-being, ethical integrity, and community-based violence prevention. 

Speakers: Art Fisher and Chris Hessian

Art Fisher

Art Fisher has been a practitioner and leader in the field of intimate partner violence for over twenty years. He is executive director of Family Service of Western Nova Scotia, co-founder of the Nova Scotia Trauma Informed Network, and a passionate manager of Freeman House – a coordinated support and services prototype linking Intervention with prevention, early intervention and health promotion. Art has eighteen years of experience as executive director, fourteen years of experience as an international trainer in fifteen countries; and eight years of experience as a consultant to governments. 

Christiane Hessian

Chris Hessian (BSW, RSW) currently works as a men’s interventionist in the south shore of Nova Scotia and has previous experience in the fields of community capacity building, corrections and youth homelessness. Chris has been a part of the Out of the Cold organizing and on-call teams for the past 6 years. Chris is passionate about her work in the field of violence and trauma at the levels of systems, interpersonal and personal intervention. Chris is currently completing a Master of Social Work at the Dalhousie School of Social Work.

Earlier Event: May 25
Taking paws