Violence is Preventable video series
Snapshot View of Practice
The Violence is Preventable video series by Victoria Women’s Transition House Society is a series of short video clips developed to reach youth and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a non-traditional way of sharing information that is engaging and can be accessed by anyone at any time, especially those the shelter cannot reach in person. The videos empower youth by giving them some tools to keep themselves safe from gender-based violence.
Name of Shelter
Type of Shelter
What is Violence is Preventable video series
The shelter has been running the Violence is Preventable (VIP) program under the larger Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counseling and Empowerment (PEACE) program for the last 8 years. This program supports children and youth aged 3 to 18, and their caregivers, who have witnessed violence in their home. The VIP program is a curriculum-based program that facilitates discussion around healthy relationships and ways to end intimate partner violence in schools with students ranging from kindergarten to grade 12. The shelter facilitates these discussions in schools and works with educators on strategies around how to have conversations about this topic and provide information on available services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter saw an increase in need, but they could no longer offer this valuable in-person training. The team pivoted and came up with the idea of creating this video series, shared through their YouTube and social media channels.
How does the program work
The team got approval from their funder to change the in-person component of the VIP program into a video series during the pandemic. The shelter had a great working relationship with the surrounding school districts and was able to work with schools and their drama teams. The videos featured youth who had participated in the VIP program in their school before the pandemic. They hired a professional crew and a production company to shoot the videos, with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
They engaged and collaborated with youth throughout the process to ensure the videos would be relevant. For example, they took questions that are typically asked by youth and answered them in the videos. The videos were also adapted for specific age groups, like using a puppet to communicate with a younger audience.
The series was uploaded to the shelter’s existing YouTube channel in 2021. The team utilized all their social media channels to disseminate the videos, with the schools also receiving the links and an overview of the goals of each video. Teachers were encouraged to share it widely with their students, colleagues, and contacts. Some schools integrated videos into their online classes.
What is the impact of this program
For the team, the feeling of success was knowing that the video was reaching youth, counsellors, teachers, and caregivers. People have reached out to the shelter for further support after watching them. The team is considering making more videos and continuing this conversation to communicate the key pillars of knowledge that are necessary to end intimate partner violence and gender-based violence.
“In almost every single classroom, there are children or youth who have witnessed abuse in their home. Schools are also a vital piece in the lives of children and youth. They may be witnessing violence and not be accessing services, so it’s very relevant for schools to have access to the videos.”
Challenges in Implementing
- Developing the video during COVID-19 was one of the biggest challenges because the shelter had to ensure they were filming the videos in a way that respected pandemic restrictions
- The team was concerned that young people would have screen fatigue from being in online classes all day and be less likely to watch more video content. So, they had to find a way to reach the audience by making sure the content was engaging, relevant, and conversational, moving away from a lecture style of information sharing.
Tips for those who wish to do something similar
- Make sure you are engaging the youth in the process. Do not be afraid to ask your funders. You will be surprised at how receptive people are to innovation and new ideas.