Ontario Combating Gender-based Violence in Youth

Ontario Combating Gender-based Violence in Youth

Giving students skills to foster healthy relationships

The Ontario government is investing nearly $875,000 to train high school coaches on prioritizing important conversations with young male athletes about youth dating- and gender-based violence, consent and healthy relationships, and building cultures free from violence. This will help support safer schools as Ontario implements restrictions on cellphones, removal of social media from school devices, and the banning of vaping.

Through this funding, Interval House of Hamilton will certify up to 23 violence against women (VAW) agencies across the province in the Coaching Boys into Men program. In turn, these agencies will work with local school boards to train up to 400 coaches/teachers to engage with students aged 12 and up through sports on healthy relationships, mental health practices and gender-based violence. The program will benefit students in approximately 200 high schools in Ontario.

This investment builds on Ontario’s plan to make schools and school settings safer, bring awareness to students about the dynamics of healthy relationships, consent, and new efforts to re-focus classrooms as places of learning and universal respect.

“It is critical that boys and young men in this province learn how to build healthy relationships, prevent violence, and respect girls and women in schools and across our society,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Thanks to the leadership of Jess Dixon, we are taking action to advance Ontario’s commitment to getting distractions out of the classroom and restoring focus and safety back in schools. These real-life skills will support students well beyond the classroom.”

Coaching Boys into Men is a 12-week, evidence-based violence-prevention program that trains high school coaches to engage with male athletes about healthy relationship skills and that violence is not a sign of strength. The program leverages sports to help:

  • Improve male students’ and coaches’ knowledge and understanding of gender-based violence, its impacts and how we can safely intervene when we witness or experience it
  • Translate the sports environment and its numerous benefits into an effective site for talking about these issues
  • Bolster and nurture athletes’ and coaches’ leadership skills to stand up for respect and positively impact their school cultures
  • Reduce incidences of bullying, hazing, harassment, violence and abuse among male student athletes and within their outside relationships
  • Increase positive bystander behaviours and likelihood of reaching out for support among youth

“As a former Crown Attorney turned Member of Provincial Parliament, I entered public office in 2022 with a singular mission: to advocate for evidence-based crime-prevention initiatives on a provincewide scale. This allocation of nearly $875,000 toward the Coaching Boys into Men program represents a monumental stride in governmental backing for expansive, school-based prevention endeavours. It also has profound personal significance in my own political career, as this is a program that I personally identified and advocated for. Reducing gender-based violence among youth is something everyone in society can get behind, and I am so proud that Interval House of Hamilton will now be able to significantly expand this program across Ontario,” said Jess Dixon, MPP Kitchener South—Hespeler. “We will never succeed in combating gender-based violence if we fail to give young men and boys the tools they need to foster healthy relationships, challenge harmful behaviours and ultimately become allies of women. This program does exactly that, and I am immensely grateful for the unwavering support extended to this initiative by our Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, and for the trust he has placed in me as both a colleague and an advocate.”

This investment showcases Ontario’s commitment to proactively support healthy relationships and address violence in schools by offering resources that help students navigate challenges and build meaningful connections.

Hello Awesome People!

It looks like you are using Ad Blocker. We can understand that you don't like to see the ads frequently. But please try to understand that our business survive on the ads. Main source of revenue is Ads, please support us by disabling ad blocker.

Thank you for visiting Report North Bay!