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How the Traditional Approach to Domestic Abuse Is Endangering Children

How the Traditional Approach to Domestic Abuse Is Endangering Children

Join Karen Woodall, authority on parental alienation and family reunification


Day and Time: Wednesday, November 1st at 7:00 PM.
Location: Lash Miller Chemical Labs (LM) Room 161,
University of Toronto | 80 St. George St., Toronto, M5S 3H4

The traditional model of domestic abuse is deeply flawed. Scholarly research is clear that men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic abuse. But now social scientists are sounding the alarm that domestic abuse may be more a generational issue than a gendered issue.

That’s due to parental alienation. A parent commits domestic abuse when they use coercive power and control over their child, through physical, emotional or psychological means, in order to hurt that child’s relationship with his or her other parent, often in the context of family break-up.

This serious dysfunction severely affects a child’s development and transmits intergenerational trauma. But once we recognize the problem, we can take steps to protect children and break the cycle of abuse.

About Our Keynote Speaker

Karen Woodall is lead therapist at the Family Separation Clinic in London, UK, where she works to reunite children and parents. She is a world authority on parental alienation and expert witness in cases where children reject a parent. She is co-founder of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners. She writes for the Huffington Post on the Psychology of everyday living.

This event is hosted by the University of Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Society and sponsored by the Canadian Association for Equality

Charger Golf Tournament Raises $15,000 in Support of Healthy Fathers and Families


Charger Golf Tournament Raises $15,000 in Support of Healthy Fathers and Families

TORONTO, ON – (September 15, 2017) The Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF) is excited to announce the receipt of $15,000 to support its healthy fathers and families programs through the proceeds of the 2017 Charger Foundation Golf Tournament, which took place on June 20, 2017.

The Charger Foundation’s first two annual events have raised a combined $25,000 in support of unprecedented programs that are improving the lives of families, including “Fathering After Separation or Divorce” and peer support groups dedicated to boys, men and fathers.

“Charger is so pleased to be able to support the CCMF,” said Charger Foundation Chairman Louis Sapi. “Our society is lacking in its support of single and divorced fathers and their children. CCMF has become a critical support group and advocate for this cause. Children need their fathers as part of their lives. CCMF helps make sure our governments and courts are reminded of this.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Charger Foundation and its chairperson Mr. Louis Sapi for the amazing support and dedication they have shown,” said CCMF Executive Director Justin Trottier.

“We also wish to share our appreciation for the event’s key sponsors: HS & Partners LLP, The Office Mover, Vaknin Law, Hockley Miller, and Hennessy & Hinchcliffe.”

The single-father household is now the fastest growing family form in Canada. Studies clearly demonstrate the strong link between father involvement and a wide range of positive outcomes of children. Yet fathers tend to be more isolated and less likely to access support services when they need them.

The Canadian Centre for Men and Families is a unique facility focused on promoting and sustaining father involvement as a critical element of child welfare through a wide variety of our programs and services.

“Louis Sapi has been a strong and early champion of our cause, and his vision of a future where many more children benefit from a strong and loving relationship with their fathers has been turned into concrete that is making a positive difference,” said Trottier.


Justin Trottier
Executive Director,
Canadian Association for Equality


First “Men’s Centre” in Ottawa Will Celebrate Grand Opening This Saturday September 9th


First “Men’s Centre” in Ottawa Will Celebrate Grand Opening This Saturday September 9th

OTTAWA, ON – (September 5, 2017) The Grand Opening of the Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF) Ottawa, the first Men’s Centre in the nation’s capital, will take place this Saturday, September 9th at 1:00 PM at 292 Montreal Road, Suite 302.

The landmark event follows the conclusion of a successful fundraising campaign that raised over $80,000 from hundreds of contributors across the country.

“We are so thankful to our donors and so proud of the amazing team of dedicated volunteers who have come together and opened a Centre to close critical gaps in programs and services for boys and men in Ottawa,” said David Shackleton, Ottawa Director of the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), the charity that governs the CCMF.

CCMF Ottawa joins its Toronto sister agency as the second men’s health and social service hub in Canada, marking CAFE as the first national organization to operate multiple men’s centres.

The Grand Opening will feature keynote speeches, a ribbon cutting ceremony and an opportunity to meet the staff and volunteers leading this initiative, including founding Executive Director Patrick Wright. Wright holds a Masters in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University, where he served as Director of Health Professions for the Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students.

“Establishing a centre dedicated to providing social services targeted towards men is an important step towards improving the health and well-being of men and families,” said Wright. “We’re excited to start working with other organizations to help meet the needs of the Ottawa community”

CCMF Ottawa has already unveiled its initial programs, including a Fathering After Separation or Divorce Peer Support Group and Employment Support and Resources.

Media will have an opportunity to interview agency leaders during the Grand Opening.


David Shackleton
Ottawa Director, Canadian Association for Equality
(613) 832-2284


CBC Checks in for CAFE Position on Sexual Exploitation of Boys

When Courts Lets Off A Woman Who Had Sex with 14 Year Old Boy, CBC News Checked in for CAFE’s Response.

Click Here for the full article.

Justin Trottier, executive director of the Canadian Association ( CAFE), would not speculate on whether the outcome might be different if the accused were a man and the victim a girl. But he does believe the criminal justice system has an inherent bias against males in some cases.

Trottier, whose group has stirred controversy for its campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence against men, said when a woman is accused of a sexual offence against a boy, the assumption is that the boy got lucky, he wanted it, he must have been sexually aggressive or that it didn’t cause him any harm.

“These are all myths. Boys can be sexually abused, and it certainly does harm them to the same extent as it does girls who are sexually abused,” he said.

Relying on facial hair, the fact the complainant smoked or seemed familiar with sex should not be legal grounds for assuming age of consent, he said.

Child Soldiers: Whose Responsibility to Protect?

Dr. Carolyn Filteau is Senior Researcher for the Canadian Centre for Men and Families at CAFE.Carolyn has been performing research work for CAFE for the last several months. She has a background in international relations with the UN. Recently she authored a paper on child soldiers entitled Child Soldiers: Whose Responsibility to Protect? The paper was presented at the International Legal Studies conference held at Ryerson University earlier this month. The paper was very well received and the organizer invited Carolyn to be a plenary speaker at next years conference in Singapore. They also asked her to do a three minute video on the conference. The paper is now awaiting publication in their online journal.

Congratulations Carolyn for your efforts to raise awareness of this difficult but important issue! This is the kind of work that makes CAFE proud.

We asked Carolyn to write up a short description of her work, which is as follows:

The paper introduces the importance of the international norm of ‘The Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) and the relationship it bears to children in war zones and more particularly to the use of child soldiers in the contemporary world’s many conflicts. The author argues that the Responsibility to Protect should be called upon to protect such children before, during and after armed conflict. One of the many illegal acts to which children (mostly boys) fall victim is recruitment by armed forces and armed groups. On the one hand, various conventions have been introduced at the international level that provide different kinds of protection for child soldiers depending on age (i.e., age 15 or 18). On the other hand, in spite of these laws and conventions, Dallaire tells us that the child soldier “has become the weapon of choice in over thirty conflicts around the world, for governments and non-state actors alike.”

In spite of the fact that over 120 countries are state parties to the Rome Statute (the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC)), the practice of training children to kill and commit war crimes and human atrocities continues in many countries. Thousands of children are still abducted, beaten into submission or join out of feelings of revenge, to escape poverty, or to defend their communities in war zones such as Syria, South Iraq and Yemen.

A UNICEF report on violations suffered by children reports an unprecedented number of children have been “maimed, killed and recruited for combat roles in 2016. Since 2014, warring sides have recruited younger children – some as young as seven. More than half of children recruited in cases verified by UNICEF in 2015 were under 15. In 2010 the greatest area of child soldiers was Africa (around 100,000 children). They were also in Guinea, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and Asia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka (Tamil Tigers) Middle East: Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Iraq, Latin America and Colombia. These children are regularly encouraged to commit suicide attacks or are used as human shields.

The study shows that children may or may not become child soldiers of their own free will. In fact, the evidence suggests that children are most often forced or abducted into violent groups seeking their help. And, even if they are considered to be joining on a voluntary basis, the question of what is considered ‘voluntary’ is consistently under debate. Children in combat situations often find themselves without family, without food or shelter, without safety or security or education and see the fighters as a form of security and hope. Once in, they are often subject to numerous forms of abuse and exploitation including beatings, drugs, and sexual assault and are forced to commit heinous crimes for fear of their own lives.

The study looks further into the predicament of the child soldier as refugee and any existing regulations or laws that have been developed to help the child soldier integrate into a new country when returning to their own family and society is not an option. The relevant national and international humanitarian laws are emphasized in a world where the immigration and refugee crisis appears to be hardening prospects of entry for refugees (especially boys) who are, by definition, in extreme difficulty. The author reminds the reader of these children at risk and the efforts that need to be made by the international community to alleviate or prevent their suffering and to reintegrate them into society as contributing members with a legitimate, and safe, status and that they must not be forgotten in the rush to put national security ahead of humanitarian principles or concerns.