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Annual VPI Conference Focuses on Sexual Orientation and Violence

Executive Council
February 16, 2011

Community partners are gathering with Provincial Government officials to share knowledge and discuss new ideas to prevent violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Newfoundland and Labrador. The annual two-day conference, organized by the Provincial Government’s Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) is the first in the province to explore issues of violence in relation to sexual orientation.“This conference serves as a wonderful opportunity to bring government and community together to look at issues of violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and lead Minister for the VPI. “We want attendees to leave with knowledge and best practices that they can share with their communities so that we may all play a part in keeping every member of our province, regardless of sexual orientation, safe from violence. I am proud to be a part of a government which is taking on this important issue.”

The conference will include discussions on hate crimes, human rights, debunking myths, students’ needs, cyber-violence and sexual harassment, all focused on the LGBT community. This is the fifth year that VPI stakeholders have come together to discuss violence prevention in the province. Previous conferences have focused on increasing community capacity, youth violence, and preventing violence against women and children.

“Bringing together everyone interested in addressing the violence directed towards the LGBT community is extremely important,” said Susan Rose of Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE) Canada. “Conferences such as this provide an opportunity for community partners and government to begin to develop effective strategies to deal with this serious issue. Working together is a must.”

The VPI is the Provincial Government’s $12-million strategy to combat violence in this province. It is a multi-departmental, government-community partnership to find long-term solutions to violence against those most at risk in society, including women, children, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal women and children, and others who are vulnerable to violence because of their ethnicity, sexual orientation or economic status.

For more information on the Violence Prevention Initiative, please visit: www.gov.nl.ca/vpi/

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Media contact:
Melissa MacLeod
Communications Specialist
Women’s Policy Office
709-729-6225, 693-7938
[email protected]

2011 02 16