T.E.A.R.™ is a powerful ‘healthy relationships’ workshop, grounded within a gender-based analysis, and established for youth by youth between the ages of 12 to 18 years. T.E.A.R.™ workshops are delivered by trained youth leaders and adult facilitators in middle and secondary schools along with community agencies across Toronto and reach over 10,000 youth annually.
Through the use of multimedia videos, interactive activities and engaging dialogue, the T.E.A.R.™ workshops have been highly successful in helping youth identify early warning signs of harmful and potentially violent relationships, some of the effects of abusive relationships, and what to do/where to get help if they (or someone they know) are in an abusive relationship. T.E.A.R.™ has also been effective at helping youth learn about the healthy ingredients necessary for developing positive nurturing relationships. T.E.A.R.™ workshops are accessible to the French, deaf and hard of hearing, newcomer, Aboriginal communities and youth with mild intellectual disabilities.
The T.E.A.R.™ Volunteer Youth Leadership Program builds on the basic learnings of the T.E.A.R.™ workshop and enables youth to further analyze root causes of gender based violence, by exploring historical and manifestations of sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of systemic discrimination and oppression which perpetuate the cycle of violence. Opportunities to practice working with and incorporating the healthy ingredients to develop healthy peer relationships are provided through training, engaging and supporting Youth Leaders to; deliver T.E.A.R.™ workshops, develop innovative forums for dialogue on healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships, violence against women, and gender equity within their schools and the broader community.
T.E.A.R.™ Volunteer Youth leaders launched their social media engagement strategy, #TEARtalk, in November 2013. #TEARtalk, a weekly twitter chat, is completely youth inspired and driven. This social media engagement strategy provides an innovative forum for T.E.A.R.™ Youth leaders to discuss and bring awareness on a variety of complex topics related to unhealthy relationships, healthy relationships, equity and trending issues in a fun and positive way. Topics include: gender based violence, sexual violence, consent, homophobia and transphobia, cyberbullying, healthy communication, body image, gender equity and how to reach out for help.
Join the conversation on twitter Thursdays 7pm EST via @VSToronto and follow the hashtag #TEARtalk
SAFE S.P.A.C.E. (Students & Partners Against Cyber-Violence Everywhere)
To determine the needs of youth, identify gaps, and explore best practices in relation to cyber-violence a literature review was completed in conjunction with qualitative and quantitative research including focus groups and an online survey.
Based on the youth needs assessment Project Safe S.P.A.C.E. will develop a Toronto-based systems-wide response to identify, prevent and address cyber-violence.
When 16-year-old Aanaya sees a couple fighting at a café, she is reminded of her own past with an abusive ex-partner. “Is Someone There?” explores the emotional toll of toxic relationships on young people.
A regular day in class for Alora is interrupted when she becomes the object of ridicule from classmates on her school’s online ‘confession page’. “Truth Files” is a candid look at the reality of cyberbullying and its impact on a young person’s self-esteem.