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Breaking the uncomfortable silence

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Breaking the uncomfortable silence

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So many people saw the signs that Dawn and Ed Novak’s daughter Natalie was in a violent relationship.

No one spoke up.

Tragically, the 20-year-old, third-year university student was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Domestic violence accounts for more than one-quarter of all reported violent crimes in Canada each year – and the disproportionate weight of that burden is suffered by women and children.

The experts will tell you the numbers are undoubtedly higher and that relationship violence is vastly under-reported and under-estimated.

There are many reasons people don't report – including, often, the stigma experienced by those who speak out.

The Novaks are breaking the silence surrounding relationship violence. And an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Western is adding its voice to reduce and prevent the toll of these personal and devastating crimes.


Western’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children (CREVAWC) is committed to the development and application of knowledge for the prevention of violence against women and children through promoting innovation, collaboration and equality.

CREVAWC facilitates the collaboration of individuals, groups and institutions representing the diversity of the community to pursue research questions and training opportunities to understand and prevent violence and abuse.

We serve local, national and international communities by producing useful information and tools to assist in the daily work to prevent and stop violence towards women and children and vulnerable adults.

The program "Make It Our Business" provides information and education to help employers and other workplace stakeholders meet their obligations under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. According to the Act, employers must prevent and respond to domestic violence in the workplace and the program provides well-designed information and workplace plans to implement responsive HR solutions. See website: www.learningtoendabuse.ca

Please join our team in preventing violence against women and children.

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