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Trillium grant funding program for Seneca students experiencing dating violence on campus

Yellow Brick House has partnered with Seneca for the first year of the three-year Stepping Up program, thanks to a $244,800 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant
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Yellow Brick House wants to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the three-year $244,800 Grow grant that it received in early 2020 to support post-secondary students who have experienced, or might experience, dating or sexual violence on campus.

The Stepping Up program is a peer-facilitated program that aims to support 450 students in exploring the best ways of helping their peers who may have had a violent experience.  

"In order to have the best educational system in place for the students of Ontario, all students should feel safe, secure, and respected,” said Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill. “For nearly 50 years, the Yellow Brick House has flourished in its mission to serve as a multifarious shelter and support system for women, children and individuals experiencing violence and abuse. Now with this investment, they are helping to support post-secondary students who have experienced, or might experience, dating or sexual violence on campus through the Stepping Up program."  

Funds from the grant are being used by Yellow Brick House to help with costs involved with staffing and facilitators, developing and hosting workshops, purchasing technical equipment, covering annual licensing fees for data analysis software, and helping with some administrative costs too.

Yellow Brick House is partnering with Seneca College for the first year of the three-year agreement that will include engaging students in peer-facilitated events and projects. Students will address topics such as healthy relationships, gender and, social media, sexual relationships and bystander intervention.   

“Yellow Brick House is thrilled to be partnering with three post-secondary institutions, including Seneca College, in implementing an evidence-based program that focused on dating and sexual violence,” said Lorris Herenda, executive director of Yellow Brick House. “Domestic violence impacts one in three women worldwide, and prevention through education is key to ensuring our youth, our future leaders, are well committed to eradicating violence against women.” 

Research has shown that friends tell friends when something bad happens to them. Stepping Up was developed by Mount Royal University, and program results have shown that educating students on dating and relationship violence prevention significantly improves their ability to support their friends and peers.

Sexual violence affects us all and disproportionately affects young people between 18 and 24. These incidents continue to be vastly underreported. Stepping Up engages post-secondary students to learn about what is helpful so they can create solutions regarding domestic violence and abuse.

“We are delighted to partner with Yellow Brick House on this important initiative,” said David Agnew, president, Seneca College. “Equipping students with the knowledge and confidence to help one another build healthy relationships and speak up in support of their peers will have a positive impact on campus and in the community.”