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Family Violence Counselling Program of Oxford County Logo
The Family Violence Counselling Program is a service funded by a compilation of different Ministries that address the dynamics of intimate partner violence within relationships. The program works in cooperation with the family, the community and other service providers to identify and address issues of violence within the family system. The emphasis upon service is that violence is a choice and that each person is affected by violence in the family differently. The program works actively with victims of abuse by focusing on safety, recognizing the difference of abuse and healthy relationships to assist in making decisions that will allow people to live violence free in the future. The use of both voluntary and non-voluntary services demands a varied continuum of service, which has necessitated effective partnerships with our service partners including the Children's Aid Society of Oxford County, Domestic Abuse Services Oxford, Ingamo Homes, Probation and Parole, the Crown Attorney's Office as well as both police services in Oxford County.

Voluntary Services:

Women's Groups

Three stages of groups are offered for women who have experienced family violence. The first stage is a personal growth group where topics cover skills needed for healthy relationships. The second stage is exploring your emotions, which builds on all the topics from stage one. The third stage is a women's wilderness weekend, where each woman works on a life goal while camping and participating in risk taking initiatives such as rock climbing, paddling and caving.

Groups can be an empowering experience, promoting self growth and change in a safe, supportive environment. Referrals accepted from all sources. Groups are small in size and pre-registration is required. For more information or if you are interested in participating, please call 519-539-1276 extension 380.

Individual Support for Women

Short-term support (5 sessions or less) for women in crisis to assist and educate with family violence concerns. Support may include safety planning, educating, court accompaniment, legal aid certificates, and assistance with advocating for and with further community supports as needed (police, CAS, DASO, Ingamo, Ontario Works, housing, etc) to ensure family safety. There is no fee for this service. Please call 519-539-1276 extension 380 for more information.

Supportive Mothering Program

The Supportive Mothering Program is a unique opportunity for women to connect as mothers. It endeavors to encourage women to be more child-centered in their approaches to their parenting and recognize how their choices as adults have impacted their ability to parent effectively. The program is 16 sessions in length and promotes an increased awareness of controlling, abusive and neglectful attitudes and behaviours.

Children and Youth Services:

Child Witness to Family Violence Group (CEFV)

The Children Exposed to Family Violence (CEFV) program is for children/youth, 5-12 years of age who have been subjected to abuse in their family. The purpose of the program is to provide children with the opportunity to process and understand the violence and the abuse of power and control they have been exposed to. The group supports children in understanding the different types of abuse including emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. The group helps children to explore and identify feelings in the areas of family changes, shame/guilt, grief and loss. Children receive information about accountability and responsibility for their own behaviour. Positive conflict resolution strategies through role modeling and play help children explore pro-social ways of problem solving. Weekly themes and group guidelines help to create a safe, predictable environment for children to talk about their experiences and to begin the healing process. Safety planning helps children to make appropriate choices for personal protection in the event of further exposure to abuse. Finally, enhancement of self-esteem is ongoing throughout the group program.

Child Victim Witness Program

The Child Victim Witness Program offers support to children and their families when the child is either a victim or witness of a crime and may be required to testify in court. The program offers updates related to the court appearances, information and education related to the criminal justice system, court preparation for children and their parents if they are required to testify in court, court accompaniment and referrals to other agencies when appropriate. Referrals are primarily made by the Crown Attorney, but can come from the families themselves or other community partners. Number of sessions is dependent on what the child requires. For more information please call 519-539-1276 extension 380.

Healthy Relationships Groups

Since 1992, the Healthy Relationships Group has been offered for young women in the high schools of Oxford County by the Family Violence Counselling Program. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for adolescents to talk about and address their concerns regarding teen dating violence. The 8-10 week program covers topics including: evaluating relationships, gaining assertiveness skills, understanding violence and the use of power and control in intimate relationships, healthy conflict.

Mandated Groups:

MARC and PAR Programs

MARC and PAR are educational/counselling programs for men and women who have been abusive and/or controlling towards a spouse or intimate partner. Participants are mandated by the court following a guilty plea or a finding of guilt to attend the program as a condition of bail or other court order.

The MARC Program supports men to stop their abusive behaviour in their relationships and challenges them to take an active role in preventing woman abuse. The PAR Program supports and educates women on domestic violence and abusive and controlling behaviours and assists in recognizing unhealthy relationships.

The groups offered are 16 week programs after the initial assessment. Fees for court mandated participants entering the program are based on a sliding scale based on annual income to be determined at the assessment. Reports are offered at 8 weeks and a final discharge summary. Voluntary clients (non-court mandated) are required to pay a total of 30.00 per session plus $20.00 registration fee (total of $500.00). For more information please call 519-539-1276, extension 355.

Partner Contact Program

The Partner Contact Program (PCP) is a service offered to victims of individuals participating in a Partner Assault Response Program (PAR or MARC). The purpose of the Partner Contact Program is to provide a link between these victims of domestic violence and the Family Violence Counselling Program. The Partner Contact Program (PCP) provides services to current partners as well. Referrals to the PCP are invited to attend information sessions held on a monthly basis.

Individuals who accept PCP services are contacted by trained PCP volunteers on a monthly basis. They are provided with information that will assist them to maintain their safety during their (ex) partner's involvement with the MARC group, as well as support and referrals to community services. Individuals that utilize PCP services are also given the opportunity to ask questions about the MARC group. Information regarding partner's participation will be shared, as well as any concerns we may have for safety.

Family Court Support Program

Court Support Services are offered collaboratively by Ingamo Homes, Victim Services of Oxford County and Family Violence Counselling Program. Direct services and support are offered to all domestic violence victims involved in the family court process in Oxford County.

Court Support Staff work collaboratively with existing services for victims of domestic violence to ensure clients have access to the supports they need at every stage of the court process. This service will facilitate the client's understanding and navigation of the family court system.

Referrals can be made community partners or self referral by calling the Family Violence Counselling Program at 519-539-1276 extension 319.