The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension (VSP) has partnered with the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) to undertake an innovative initiative aimed at fostering safety and security for its diverse population. The collaboration marks the first time a Montreal borough has embarked on such an endeavor.
At the heart of this initiative lies a Local Security Diagnosis, developed by the ICPC, specifically tailored to address the safety concerns of girls, women, and seniors in the VSP community. This approach underscores the commitment of VSP to prioritize the well-being of its residents, irrespective of age or gender.
Prioritizing Safety in a New Light
According to the boroughs announcement, VSP’s dedication to fostering a secure environment is evident in its recent efforts, which reflect a departure from conventional strategies. Past undertakings, including the Youth Crime Prevention Strategy, often fell short in addressing the unique safety concerns of women, girls, and seniors within the borough. Recognizing these gaps, VSP has turned to the ICPC to provide a comprehensive evaluation of security concerns.
Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, the ICPC’s report delves into the depths of insecurity experienced by different age groups within the community. This initiative has allowed almost 100 residents spanning various age groups from VSP’s three neighborhoods to voice their experiences. Furthermore, insights from 22 community partners have enriched this analysis, adding depth and nuance to the findings.
Unveiling the Unseen Challenges
The ICPC’s analysis has unveiled a range of pressing issues faced by girls, women, and seniors in VSP. These include cyber violence, cyberbullying, street harassment, microaggressions, insecurity while using public transportation, and instances of familial and interpersonal violence. By spotlighting these concerns, the initiative takes a proactive stance to address challenges often overlooked or underestimated.
A Roadmap for Change
Going beyond analysis, the ICPC’s work has culminated in 11 actionable recommendations to directly tackle the identified issues. These recommendations offer a holistic approach to violence prevention, embracing community mobilization, strengthening trust between residents and public institutions, enhancing socialization spaces, and fostering support for parenting skills, especially for immigrant families.
One notable aspect of these recommendations is their inclusivity. Recognizing the role that men can play in enhancing women’s safety, the initiative calls for their active involvement through training, awareness campaigns, and tangible actions.