Program aims to stop violence against women in Saskatoon

A new federally-funded program is asking young men how they would end violence against women.

Program targets young men for ideas and suggestions

The new anti-violence program will run out of Saskatoon's Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op.

Saskatoon will be playing home to a new program to stop violence against women.

Today, Minister of Status of Women Kelly Leitch announced Saskatoon would be one of three cities across the country involved in the Top Left program.

The program targets young at-risk men between the ages of 12 and 21 and asks them to come up with ways to stop violence against women. The team will then get the word out through videos and community outreach.

Facilitator Mike Scott says it's not enough to tell young men to stop being violent. He says that tactic isn't working, and new ideas need to be used.

"We're going to get their ideas and their insights on how to change it, because they're the ones that live it every day," he said. "So, they're the ones that bring the ideas to the table, they're the ones that are going to help deliver this program, and all their insight and input is going to be the change that helps this program out."

Scott grew up in Saskatoon, and says violence against women is a serious problem in the city.

"I know a lot of young women who face these issues daily. It's very hard, because I have a lot of friends who are girls, sisters and relatives, that go through this struggle everyday. And what I want to do is make the change. I'm standing up to call out all men to support this...if we're part of the problem, we can be part of the solution," he said.

The Saskatoon program will run out of the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, an inner-city program that offers job training and education programs for people in the community.

Statistics Canada says Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country.

The federal government is spending around 300-thousand-dollars on the program to be spread out between Toronto, Victoria and Saskatoon. The project will last for two years.