Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why Focus on Gender-based Violence? by Lynda Laushway


There is a lot of violence in our world and it takes many forms- men’s violence towards other men, violence perpetrated on children, violence directed at seniors, violence against lesbian, gay and transgendered people, and violence against women, to name some of the more prevalent forms. The motivations for violence are many and complex and may include power and control, greed, jealousy, rage, fear, racism, homophobia and mental disorders.

Violence is a big problem in our world and everyday people are hurt and suffer because of it. It is overwhelming to think about trying to prevent violence in all its forms.  At SWOVA we have chosen to focus on one part of the violence spectrum and that is on gender-based violence. It is one part among many that can make our world a safer place. If many of us assume a part in preventing violence, our collective impact can be truly significant.

SWOVA chose gender-based violence prevention because we felt compelled to make a difference in this area.  According to the United Nations, “Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.”

Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Victims of violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and even death.”

Preventing violence in all forms is important to us at SWOVA.  Let’s all do our part and together we can make a difference.


By Lynda Laushway – SWOVA Consultant


Crime Costs, Prevention Pays by lynda laushway


Canada is spending billions of dollars each year on police, courts and corrections. In the past 10 years these costs have increased by 50 percent. These costs do not include the human suffering to individuals and families. Investment in preventing crime is a wiser use of our money.

In 2009 in Canada, women self-reported 472,000 sexual assaults according to the General Social Survey, Statistics Canada. The problem of spousal violence is not declining – similar rates of spousal violence were reported from 1999 to 2009.

A recent news release from Dr. Irvin Waller, Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa states that Canadian studies emphasize the effectiveness of preventing violence against women.

The social return on investment from pre-crime prevention is significant. Most recently, a number of Canadian studies emphasize the effectiveness of preventing violence against women. The evidence is clear from a number of gender-based prevention program results across Canada that changing the behaviour of males significantly reduces sexual assaults.

There are hopeful signs that the investment in Canadian crime prevention programs is paying off.


By Lynda Laushway – Consultant to SWOVA