Leave Out Violence (LOVE) is a not-for-profit youth violence prevention organization created in Montréal in 1993 by Mrs. Twinkle Rudberg, following the death of her husband who was stabbed by a fourteen-year old. Her strong belief that the young offender was himself a victim of violence led to LOVE. The organization has proven itself in the field of prevention of violence among youth, aged 13 to 19 years. LOVE intervenes to end the cycle of violence and abuse in their lives and trains young people to become leaders in violence prevention in their own environment.
LOVE’s approach to the prevention of violence has been enthusiastically welcomed : schools, governments, social organizations and businesses have favored its growth and expansion across Canada. In 20 years, the organization has established regional offices in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and New York.
Through innovative programs, LOVE creates a secure environment for youth to express their emotions and opinions and build their self-esteem in order to become agents of change, ending the cycle of violence, one youth, one school and one community at a time.
DEFINITION OF VIOLENCE
At LOVE, we aim to stop violence. Violence includes (but is not limited to) bullying, domestic abuse, rape, sexual harassment, self-harm (i.e. ‘cutting’), fighting, sexual abuse, gang-related violence, substance abuse and substance-related violence, suicide and hate crimes such as racism, sexism, and homophobia.
- 96% of graduates of LOVE Quebec assert that LOVE has had a positive impact on their lives.
- 81% say they are a different person thanks to LOVE.*
- 80% have managed to overcome difficulties in their lives thanks to LOVE.
- 92%* of LOVE graduates completed high school. (the average graduation rate of the island of Montreal is only 64%). **
* Results of the Questionnaire completed by graduates of LOVE Quebec (2015)
** Montreal Hooked (2011)
Through its programs, LOVE teaches more than 500 young people aged 13 to 19 to end the cycle of violence in their lives. The programs bring together young people who were witnesses, victims and/or perpetrators of violence. These programs are offered in schools in which the need for prevention of violence and group intervention was deemed necessary. LOVE also features a bilingual after school program, at our offices, accessible to all young people who need our services.
A youth is generally referred to a program by friends, relatives, teachers or social workers, and these people agree to provide him or her with guidance until the completion of the program. The programs are interrelated and enable young people to get to know themselves over time, and to evolve into engaged and responsible citizens.
MEDIA ARTS PROGRAM
Each year, more than three hundred young people between the ages of 13 and 17 have the opportunity to follow the media arts program. It is offered in schools and via extracurricular activities on a weekly basis throughout the school year for a total of 24 weeks. .
During the program, young people gain knowledge in photography, writing and video creation, allowing them to draw a portrait of the violence that surrounds them. Through specific projects, they learn to express themselves on the meaning they give to violence and its impact on their lives, while developing their critical thinking about the world around them. They are supported and supervised by stimulating professionals, sometimes for several years. These professionals take the time to decode the silence of these youths, and help raise their self-esteem.
In the workshops of the media arts program, young people learn to use a camera with an artistic approach. Through photography and writing, young people deal with the violence that surrounds them: verbal and physical violence, bullying (including cyber bullying), drug abuse and alcohol, as well as hate crimes such as racism, sexism and homophobia.
Participants who completed the media arts program continue their learning with the leadership program in order to become active leaders in their communities. Based on the principles of youth engagement, the program includes oral expression, public speaking, video production and public service announcements, conflict resolution and group facilitation.
Participants also have the opportunity to participate in an annual summer camp. Selected leaders from across the country gather to strengthen their leadership skills, which they can then take back to their school, their neighborhood and their community.