Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee

Launching Online Module

Did you know that IFVPC has been creating online learning modules for service providers, frontline workers, social workers, settlement workers, therapists, teachers, and medical professionals?

Click here to learn more about Understanding Family Systems in Immigrant Communities.

Terms of Reference (March 2023)

Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee (IFVPC) is an informal group of agencies and community members interested in supporting agencies working with newcomers and diverse ethnocultural communities to prevent family violence. The Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee (IFVPC) is aligned with the Community Initiatives against Family Violence (CIAFV). 

I.  History

In 1994, following the Conference on Immigrant Women and Family Violence organized by Changing Together, A Centre for Immigrant Women; a dedicated group of professionals formed the Action Committee of Immigrant Women Against Family Violence, which later became the Ethno-Cultural Consultation Committee (ECC). ECC was instrumental in the creation of the Family Violence Prevention Centre (now the Today Family Violence Help Centre) and acted as an advisory board for their programs. In 2001, the committee invited members of the Community Initiative Against Family Violence (CIAFV) to join the planning committee of the two-day Diverse Voices conference. The dynamic individuals representing several organizations worked tirelessly with limited resources. In 2002, the ECC’s name changed from the committee to Coalition, Ethno-cultural Coalition. In 2011 ECC became the Ethno-Cultural Family Violence Committee (EFVC) to reflect the focus on education and advocacy, especially with Lunch and Learn events. Since 2016 the committee has aligned and supported Community Initiative Against Family Violence (CIAFV), whose mission is to create a collaborative, coordinated, community response to family violence. In 2020, EFVC’s name changed to the Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee.

II. Mission Statement

Immigrant Family Violence Prevention Committee enhances the capacity, collaboration, and coordination of resources and services to prevent family violence in newcomers and diverse ethnocultural communities. Through member agencies, we increase awareness and provide education, consultation, and advocacy within Edmonton and surrounding areas.

III. Statement of Beliefs

We believe:

  • Culture, religion, customs, traditions, values, age, gender, and sexual orientation are not the reasons for family violence. Power and control are.
  • All people and families have the right to gender equality, respect, healthy relationships, and safety.
  • All newcomers and diverse ethnocultural families deserve access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

IV.  Definitions and Language 

The definitions and language below guide our work, and beliefs and align closely with IMPACT. The IMPACT Initiative is a provincial collective initiative whose purpose is to define a common understanding of the issue of domestic and sexual violence and then eradicate it in Alberta. 

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is “the attempt, act or intent of someone within a relationship, where the relationship is characterized by intimacy, dependency or trust to engage in a purposeful controlling or coercive pattern of which takes place over time in order for one individual to exert power, control or coercion over another.”

Controlling or Coercive behaviour

  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
  • Coercive behaviour is a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation, intimidation, or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Source: IMPACT

Family Violence

Family Violence describes a systematic pattern of abusive behaviours within a relationship that is characterized by intimacy, dependency, and/or trust. The abusive behaviours exist within a context where their purpose is to gain power, control, and induce fear. All forms of abusive behaviour are ways in which one human being is trying to have control and/or exploit or have power over another. 

Source: Community Initiatives against Family Violence, Adopted October 9, 2001


A person who has settled permanently in another country. 

Person without status – a person who has not been granted permission to stay in the country, or who has stayed after their visa has expired.  The term can cover a person who falls between the cracks of the system, such as a refugee claimant who is refused refugee status but not removed from Canada because of a situation of generalized risk in the country of origin. 

Refugee Claimants:

A person who has fled their country and is asking for protection in another country. We don’t know whether a claimant is a refugee or not until their case has been decided.


A person who is forced to flee from persecution and who is located outside of their home country.

Source: Canadian Council for Refugees

V. Membership  

The members of IFVPC are an informal group.

  1. All committee members will agree with and abide by, the Mission Statement and Statement of Beliefs.
  2. All committee members have one or more of the following: 
    • Experience working with newcomers and diverse ethnocultural individuals, families, groups, or communities.
    • A desire to acquire expertise working with family violence issues in newcomers and diverse ethnocultural communities
    • A desire to increase understanding of and sensitivity to, family violence issues in newcomers and diverse ethnocultural communities.
  3. Membership can be individual or by the agency. 
    • Membership will be by invitation of existing members.
    • There is no fee for membership.

VI.   Member Responsibilities

 Individual Responsibilities

  Communicate with the chair regularly to inform them about participation and attendance at meetings. 

  • Departing members are encouraged to recommend a replacement when they leave.
  • To recruit new members as needed.
  • Take on specific roles and responsibilities reflective of the current goals and objectives of the committee.
  • Represent the committee on CIAFV Council of Service Providers

 Chair Responsibilities  

  • Develop and distribute the agenda one week prior to the meeting.
  • The chair will connect with Steering Committee members to keep everyone informed.
  •  Distribute the minutes and updated membership lists (as needed).
  • When possible designate a replacement if unable to attend the meeting or agency delegate
  • A recorder will be appointed at the start of each meeting. The Recorder is responsible for taking minutes and distributing them to the committee members.
  • Provide regular updates to IFVPC Project Leader(s) who sit on the CIAFV Council of Service Providers for successful governance and the achievement of intended goals and outcomes.

VII.  Committee meetings 

IFVPC is comprised of a steering committee and two subcommittees; the education committee (TEC) and the Influencing change committee (ICC)

The Steering Committee provides direction and decisions of IFVPC. 

  • Oversees the work of both subcommittees. 
  • The meetings will be held as needed, called by the chair.
  1. The Education Committee
  • It is composed of 2 co-chairs who meet to determine education sessions with CIAFV and others.
  • Work with external contractors as needed to provide online learning modules, webinars, and educational sessions. 
  • Work with CIAFV Project Team/Committee, Public Education Awareness Raising (PEAR)
  1. Influencing Change Committee 
  • It is composed of interested people exploring issues of system change and how to move the needle on topics. 
  • The current topic is providing linguistic and culturally appropriate translation services for those experiencing FV within the legal system. 

VIII. Decision-Making 

Regular business matters: When possible, the committee supports a consensus in matters of decision-making.  At times chair and co-chair make decisions based on information, timelines, and capacity.  

IX. Committee Communications

Information distribution will be via email.

X. Review of Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed every 2 years or when necessary.

 Agencies previously or currently involved:

  • The Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT) Alberta 
  • Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l’Alberta Société (AJFAS) 
  • Assist Community Services Centre (ASSIST)
  • Candora Society
  • Catholic Social Services (CSS) 
  • Centre for Public Legal Education Association (CPLEA)
  • City of Edmonton
  • Compass Sexual Health 
  • Edmonton John Howard Society (EJHS)
  • Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN)
  • Edmonton Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op
  • Edmonton Violence Prevention Centre, Changing Pathways Group
  • Islamic Family & Social Services Association (IFSSA) 
  • REACH Edmonton
  • Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE)
  • The Today Centre (TC)
  • Win House, Carol’s House
  • Wings of Providence Second Stage Shelter – Edmonton