Sweeping changes are coming to the province’s schools. The Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes made 82 recommendations for improvement and change.
The Provincial Action Network of the Status of Women is pleased with those recommendations but is alarmed that the opportunity may have been missed to address the high levels of violence women experience in the province.
Paula Sheppard Thibeau is Executive Director Corner Brook Status of Women Council. She says domestic violence rates have not declined in Newfoundland and Labrador the way they have in other places, NL is, in fact, seeing a rise in domestic violence.
She says revamping the education curriculum could reduce rates of violence. Talking about sexual and gender spectrums, abuse and inequality, says Thibeau, lays the foundation for healthier relationships.
Thibeau says the key is to start early and at developmentally appropriate levels.
She says children can understand at a very early age that, for example, they don’t share toothbrushes – an example that you have a choice in what you share with people.
Thibeau says, for example, people don’t need to be forced to give hugs, even to family and friends, and get to decide what they’re comfortable doing.
Thibeau says they’re hoping for a response from the government soon. Thibeau says there’s hope government will start a task force soon, because there are organizations willing to offer their expertise.