By Iman Bukhari, CEO of Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
For almost a year now, we have been presenting our documentary, Forced, on forced marriages and having discussions around forced marriages throughout Canada and how we can end them. We understand community initiatives and discussions around the issue are most important... but there's something else too.
Recently, I presented at a family violence conference at the East Calgary Health Centre. Presentations like these are so important. Why? Because these are the people that are working to end such issues and working directly with the people affected. I presented to several community workers who constantly deal with family violence issues and forced marriages among their clients. It's very important for them to understand the background of forced marriages and why it exists in our society. This is exactly what our organization aims for, education. We understand the importance of advocating against issues such as forced marriages, through education. Not only do we work to educate old and new Canadians on laws and norms of our society, in order to integrate them successfully, we also understand the importance of social and community workers understanding the background of such issues, and how best to deal with them. This helps create a harmonious understanding that can help break issues such as forced marriages and family violence.
We have long term plans on creating a program solely based on family violence among Canadians. We hope this year we can further work towards our goal of creating this Domestic Harmony Drive program!