The Women’s Advocacy Program served approximately a thousand women during the year through a number of services that are described below. Through innovative programming, we continue educating women on issues related to domestic violence as well as women’s and children rights.
Men’s Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program
Counterpoint programming includes a broad array of activities, which are described throughout this report. The core work of Counterpoint involves providing socio-educational groups for abusive men (PAR groups) and providing services to their (ex) partners. In both components of our core operations, Counterpoint has consistently provided high quality and accountable services through the years.
The PAR Men’s Program provides psycho-educational counselling for men who have been abusive to their partners and have been mandated by the criminal justice system. Services are provided in English and Spanish. The program provides group-counselling, screening for drugs and alcohol, risk assessment and referrals for male batterers. This past year Counterpoint served 417 clients in its English (387) and Spanish (27) Men’s Program, and three in its women’s program. We are the only agency in Toronto that offers batterer’s programming in Spanish. We are pleased to report that the Spanish Program continues to receive popular support in the community and steady referrals for service.
The men who attend the Counterpoint PAR program represent a broad spectrum of cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds. The client composition is multicultural and broadly reflects the demographics of the city of Toronto. Over 20 languages were served in the Men’s Program with interpreters for clients did not speak English or Spanish.
Men’s Program Internship Training
The Counterpoint Men’s Program Facilitator training was officially launched in 2004. This training offers a total of 185 hours of training for workers who want training to work with abusive men. It includes theory classes, group work, supervision, peer review, team development meetings, mentoring and numerous opportunities for personal and professional development in domestic violence through an internship.
The training encompasses diverse aspects of domestic violence including the context of violence against women, philosophy, and principles of domestic violence work and the Coordinated Community Response model in Toronto. The group work approach in this training is based on Paulo Freire’s pedagogy and the well-known Duluth psycho-educational model. Counterpoint senior staff is responsible for instructing and supervising the internship program. Senior staff at Counterpoint and affiliates consists of psychologists, social workers and program workers who have many years of experience in doing group work and men’s programs.