HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.
Violence Prevention Labrador (VPL) is restructuring to ensure its work reflects the needs and interests of people in the Big Land.
“We recently opened our new office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and I started as Executive Director in early 2018,” Petrina Beals said in answering questions about VPL via e-mail.
Violence in Labrador impacts everyone, Beals said, and her organization sees the violence on a daily basis.
“Earlier this year, Stats Canada identified Happy Valley-Goose Bay as having the 6th highest rate of violence against women in the country, which is a horrifying statistic,” Beals said.
According to information provided by Beals, VPL has been active since the late 1990s as Labradorians for Peaceful Communities.
When the provincial government developed a Violence Prevention Initiative, in 2006, the Labrador office joined the campaign and became Violence Prevention Labrador.
VPL is one of ten Regional Coordinating Committees in the province and the only office in Labrador under the provincial initiative. VPL covers the largest geographical region of all coordinating committees.
VPL supports and strengthens the principle of unity in diversity as a guide to providing positive leadership to end violence and promote community capacity building in Labrador communities.
Violence is not a new issue, Beals said, and there is already a lot of working happening in Labrador in terms of violence prevention.
VPL’s coalition includes volunteers from like-minded groups and community partners throughout Labrador who are working on violence prevention initiatives.
Being involved in the organization is an opportunity to share ideas and build upon what’s working, she said.
Seeking community input
VPL is currently seeking input to help organize its priorities, set a focus for the coming year and create positive change that will be reflected in all communities across Labrador, Beals said.
The questions in the survey are designed to capture a picture of the issue of violence in each community, she said, and to hear about what is happening in terms of violence prevention, what the needs are and what VPL can do to support communities in Labrador.
“We know that there are different needs in each region and we are hoping the survey will give us a good foundation to build upon.”
So far, Beals said, the organization has received a lot of response from the community in completing the survey.
Ideally, she would like to see people from all regions of Labrador fill out the survey.
The survey can be found at www.vplabrador.ca or on the Violence Prevention Labrador Facebook page.
Anyone looking for further information on VPL or would like to be a part of the coalition, can call 709-899-3231 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.