Safe Families: Social Scientists & Service Provider Organizations Working Across Cultures on Domestic Violence: A Culturally Integrative Model for Psychological and Social Change in Muslim & Arabic Canadian Communities
The Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration in Ontario, Canada piloted a program that is now used as a model to offer services which are culturally integrative. Staff train mainstream social service agencies to develop culturally competent service provision. This model can serve as a blueprint for researchers who wish to work in culturally distinct communities with complex needs. An initial project from 2004-6 at Changing Ways in London, Ontario was pioneered by Dr. Mohammed Baobaid. The Muslim Family Safety Project was designed to help Muslim and Arabic communities and mainstream service providers to address domestic violence in a culturally competent manner. This successfully engaged local Muslim leaders in a dialogue with mainstream anti-violence agencies, despite initial reluctance on behalf of the service provider community in using religious leaders who are perceived as transmitters of patriarchal values. It included public education campaigns by and for the Muslim community in English, Arabic, Bosnian, Farsi, Somali and Punjabi not translated brochures and websites from the English language.