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"How can we use community as a means or medium for intervention into family problems?"

moderated by Phil Bartle, PhD

Web Discussions

Contributions will be added to the top of this collection as I receive them.

Date: Thu, 25 Mar
From: "Michelle R"
To: "Community Empowerment"

Poverty of children in Canada is high (relative to other countries) and increasing. What problems have provincial and federal governments faced when trying to rectify this?
When the government attempts to create family policies for the poverty of children there are conflicting views about how to do this. There are two opinions on family structure and these views disagree on what policies should be implemented.
One view - preserve nuclear family
Other view – acknowledge the changing family structure
The government has tried to make a unified policy that accomodates the opposing views. Although they have not yet agreed.

From: "faron h"
Date: Fri, 26 Mar

Describe an example (marital rape) where a family problem may be resolved through community oriented methods. What problems may arise and what advantages would accrue this approach?
Church is an organization that has been formed and developed within a community, where the decision making is from the community as a whole. This (church) would be an example of a community oriented method which could help resolve marital issues within a family. Apart from resolving the issues, other problems may also arise. For instance, if marital rape is happening between a wife a husband, then the man probably wants to keep this a secret. Therefore if the wife confessed these issues to the church then the husband may retaliate and make things worse for his wife such as physically or verbally abusing her in addition to the rape. Also, the husband may have a good reputation within the community and the church may not believe his wife if her reputation is not as valid. If the husband were to leave his wife, then she may lose financial stability and have to raise the children by herself.
Aside from these problems, many advantages would accrue. For example, getting help for the husband would stop the negative impacts that his actions would have on the kids. The son(s) in the family would be less likely to commit the same crimes as their father and the daughter(s) would be less likely to become victims of marital rape. Getting help for the wife and husband may also save their marriage. Coming forward with marital rape may also bring awareness to the community and more women may come forward with similar problems.
In the end a woman would have to weigh out the pros and cons of getting help for marital rape. However, getting help will probably always be the best choice as it will help the family as a whole in the long run and most likely give the wife strength and self worth.

The Monkeys:

Date: Thu, 25 Ma
From:  "Clara S"

Dr. Phil,
Here are the eagles' answers to the group questions for the Blog.
Our assignment was to come up with ways to involve the community in the problem of family breakup due to things like murder. Some friends of my family are in this situation right now, so our group came up with some things that would have helped them if the community had been involved.
To start with, the children in the family will often have to move to a new home and live with new caregivers. The community can help them deal with the added stress of moving in an already stressful time by providing toys for children that may not be able to bring all their stuff with them, and local movers can provide vans and labour. Also, if the murder happened in the house, having other people clean the house can be a big help for the family for obvious reasons.
If the children who have lost one parent at the hands of another are lucky enough to have other family members to take them in, these family members will have their own grieving to do. They may also have children of their own and other responsibilities to deal with. If members of the community can get together to help with babysitting, cooking, or housecleaning, the family members can take the time to grieve or to spend more time helping the children deal with the trauma.
Finally, our group thought that keeping the story off the front page of the newspaper where the kids could see it at a grocery store, and off the daytime news where they could also run into it, would avoid unnecessary problems. The children are going through enough without having to know the details, or relive it if they were witnesses.
Our question from Tuesday was "If spouse battering is a social problem, what are its social solutions?"
For the first part of the question, we said that spouse battering is a social problem because it affects children, who may continue the cycle in adulthood or end up with emotional problems. The victims may miss work, end up in the hospital, or need therapy; all of these outcomes affect society.
Social solutions could include stricter laws. For example, making it a more serious offense not to report this crime would not only result in more arrests, but also make people realize that it is a crime and that our society won’t tolerate it.
Programs in schools to start educating children early on could also help. If a child grows up in around spousal abuse but realizes it is wrong, he may be more likely to seek help if he finds himself in the same situation later in life.
Also, more awareness in the form of organizations against violence and anger management programs may be helpful social solutions to this problem.

Clara, Marcelo, Amel, and Tamara (the Eagles)

From: "Morgan B"
Subject:  Group Discussion
Date: Mon, 22 Mar

This file is for the blog..if we are supposed to post it?? It's from the last grouo discussion about, How can we use community as a means or medium for intervention into family problems?"
You said you wanted our group work posted but i didn't see anybody else's or news about it so don't post it if were not suppose to. Thanks

Morgan Brooks

"How can we use community as a means or medium for intervention into family problems?"
Sexual Molestation
Organize a community meeting in a local centre or school gym.

  • Educating the community about what constitutes sexual molestation.

  • Have age appropriate lessons for children and adults.


  • Educate children in identifying bad people.

  • Use pictures and animation to explain what is ok and what is not ok.

  •  Show them where they can go for help, and the importance of telling someone you trust.


  • Give examples of signs of molestation with children.

  • Show the best possible way to deal with a situation of molestation.

  • Lecture on making a point to always know where your kids are.

  • Tell them where they can go for help/consultation if they or someone they know has been sexually molested.

Set up a community help centre for victims of sexual molestation:

  • Have centre in available office, church or recreation centre.

  • Train and employ members of the community to work in the centre. Have actual employees and volunteers.

  • Ensure the confidentiality of the victims who come for help.

The Community Help Centre will offer:

  • Counseling, for dealing with a situation.

  • Pamphlets for those who want to help themselves.

  • Support groups with victims and friends/ families of victims.

  • “How to’s” for organizing your life after the fact.

These Mechanisms are designed to make it easier for individuals to reach out for help. Rather than keeping it a secret, we hope that these mechanisms will help individuals speak out. Hopefully education and support will help many individuals and families in need.

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Last update: 2012.06.26

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