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: News and Blog

CAFE First Men’s Charity Authorized to Grant Legal Aid Certificates to Domestic Violence Victims

This is a game changer for male victims of domestic violence.

With your support, we just became the first men’s charity authorized to provide legal aid certificates to domestic violence victims

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has a long-running program to supply victims of domestic violence special certificates granting access to lawyers paid for by the legal aid system. This is meant to offer a quick way to assist victims in an emergency situation. Women’s groups and legal clinics have been assigned to manage many of these opportunities.

Last summer, CAFE became aware of a Long Term Strategy for Domestic Violence being developed by LAO. We initiated what turned into an extensive involvement with that strategy. As CAFE became better understood we were invited to a special meeting set aside to discuss male victims of abuse.

As the culmination of these efforts, we are excited to announce that CAFE has just been authorized to provide special legal aid certificates. This is the first time a charity focused on the health and well-being of boys and men has been empowered to support families in this way.

We want to thank LAO for this tangible and formal recognition of male victims of domestic violence and for their partnership with us in ensuring that all families are supported in times of emergency.

As members and donors you are responsible for this remarkable development.

Now let’s take full advantage of this opportunity by getting more men registered with the legal services and the domestic abuse support group that are now meeting weekly at the Canadian Centre for Men and Families.

Make a tax-deductible donation today and we’ll use those funds to promote our services.
That means more men and families will get access to free government sponsored legal aid.

Men’s Health Services at Dundas West Fest

by Scott, a dedicated Canadian Centre for Men and Families volunteer

I was proud to volunteer to help represent the Canadian Centre for Men and Families at the Dundas street festival this month. I reached out to some men who will find CCMF quite helpful, especially one trauma survivor who happened to be walking by. This is a great facility that provides support services for men and boys. While there are a lot of services available for women, and that’s amazing, there is an unfortunate gap in available services for men and boys that CCMF helps to fill.

Some of these services include support for male survivors of trauma or abuse, free counselling for men on a variety of issues, fathering issues, discussions surrounding gender equality issues, employment services, legal support, meditation classes, and many more. Check the website for more information.

This place helped me get over my own traumatic experiences, and I’d highly recommend it to any other man who could use its services.

Just as I am an ally of feminism, I am a supporter of men’s issues, and so can you be too.

Kirija Balachandran Appointed Summer Intern

Introducing Kirija Balachandran, Our Client Manager and Summer Intern

I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome and take this as an opportunity to introduce myself. I am currently working towards my Social Service Worker Diploma at Seneca College. I also have a degree from York University majoring in Law & Society and Psychology and this led me in the direction of working to ignite social change.

A social issue which I am very involved and passionate about is domestic violence and trauma. I am a volunteer with Victim Services of Peel. From this role I was able to see the effect that it has on victims and their families. My education and training has touched on men in domestic violence situations but I have never had first-hand experience with it thus far. I was pleased to learn that there is a centre dedicated to men’s needs so that men can access resources without feeling judged.

This safe space that men can reach out to for support seems like a good starting point for me to gain insight into men`s experiences and I hope that I am able to contribute in such a way that I can help build on the already well-established program for domestic abuse, violence and trauma for men.

I am also keenly interested in growing our programs for separated fathers. It is vital that children benefit from active and healthy relationships with fathers and other male role models.

My interest in the CCMF stems from the fact that it is the first of its kind and I think that gender equality is of utmost importance in our constantly growing and changing society. I hope that I can be a part of the change that is happening here and look forward to working with you all.

Thank you,
Kirija Balachandran

CAFE Message of Inclusion in Response to Pride Controversy


In response to Toronto Pride – BLM Controversy, CAFE Shares Message of Inclusion

TORONTO, ON — (July 11, 2016) – Pride is a celebration of diversity and inclusion. The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) supports both. These are the guiding principles in all of our work, efforts and services. We are disappointed by the divisions that have sprung up since the Toronto Pride parade.

Groups that fight for equality, whether for LGBTQ2S people or for black individuals, and police who protect the citizenry, should be natural allies, working together to better all our lives. When groups refuse to engage with each other it leads to polarization and hostility, which does not serve any organization’s constructive purpose.

CAFE does extensive work in the community at large, supporting and advocating for the health of men and families and the intersection of men’s issues with the LGBTQ2S community and the black community of Toronto. These issues include drawing attention to male victims of domestic violence, the tremendous prevalence of male suicide and other issues surrounding society’s lack of fundamental support for fathers.

In addition, the Canadian Association for Equality has had numerous opportunities to work with the Toronto Police. These have been positive experiences. We know the vast majority of police officers are courageous and hard-working individuals who put their lives on the line on a regular basis. We congratulate the Toronto Police for taking steps to improve their work with marginalized communities and hope we can be a positive actor in these initiatives.

All the organizations entangled in the recent controversy have important contributions to make toward building a more inclusive society but it is only through working cooperatively and finding common ground that we can make real progress.

Justin Trottier
Executive Director,
Canadian Association for Equality


About the Canadian Association for Equality
With branches in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, The Canadian Association for Equality is a National organization committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability.

Can you imagine if this were a man?

Thank you Ms. Anjali Ramkissoon.

Can you imagine if this were a man?

Anjali Ramkissoon was caught on camera attacking an Uber driver on or around January 2016. She later appeared on the Today Show attempting to vindicate herself and attributing, albeit pathetically her conduct to personal circumstances. Her television segment even gets us to almost feel sorry for her. Initially, she was placed on administrative leave by her employer and in April 2016 she was fired.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/miami-doctor- fired-after- being-filmed- assaulting-uber-driver-throwing- everything-in- car-out- the-window

Ms. Ramkissoon’s behaviour is very concerning for a number of reasons and it is not an isolated incident. Her only motivation for even remotely considering an apology was that she was caught red handed on a video that went viral. Ms. Ramkissoon can clearly be seen in the video playing the victim card on arrival of the police. The cringe worthy moment wherein she punches the drivers face is absolutely shocking (not shocking for men who are the victims of domestic violence). Still, the driver does not respond and pushes her away.

Her notoriety has resulted in an anonymous website dedicated to her where she is described as a “brat,” “spoiled” and “rude”. The website domain is her complete name: http://anjaliramkissoon.org/ She has also prompted a wide array of criticism on social media. Not to say that social media is an accurate gauge of societal concerns.

If one had not seen the video they might criticize the author of the site. However, on viewing the video all the words used to describe Ms. Ramkisson seem to make perfectly good sense.

All across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom more men are coming forward and describe being the victims of domestic violence at the hands of a female partner. These men face criticism and some groups will not only make light of the situation but flat out deny it.

This is why we should actually thank Ms. Ramkissoon. For once again demonstrating that women are not the only victims of domestic violence. But, also demonstrating law enforcements complete disregard for her actions. Moreover, but for the video Ms. Ramkisson’s attempt to spin the story and identify herself as the victim.

Believe it or not, but thousands of men are living with their own version of Ms. Ramkisson. I remember the words of a close colleague who commented after watching the video, “I have my own version of her and regrettably married her and had children.”