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Our story

About us

In 1997, a Community Health Needs Assessment initiated by the Burntwood Regional Health Authority found that a majority of residents in Northern Manitoba believe their communities are unsafe and that family violence is a widespread problem. The literature clearly demonstrates the pervasiveness of domestic violence in Canadian society and the devastating psychological, emotional and physical consequences for women and children. According to Statistics Canada, Family Violence in Canada 2008, more than 50% of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual abuse after the age of 16. More than 38,000 cases of spousal violence were reported in Canada in 2006 with almost 85% of the victims being women. Numerous Canadian studies have consistently reported much higher rates of intimate violence against Aboriginal women. Researchers estimate that the costs incurred each year as a direct result of criminal violence against women are well in excess of four billion dollars.

Due to their characteristics (e.g. – remoteness, lack of access to services, social isolation for residents) many communities in Northern Manitoba are at risk of experiencing high rates of domestic violence. Statistics compiled by the Thompson Crisis Centre and the Thompson R.C.M.P. detachment support this. For example, the number of bed nights provided at Thompson Crisis Centre (women and children seeking shelter from a domestic violence situation) increased by almost 25% from 2000/01 to 2001/02 (4351 increased to 5402). Statistics on criminal charges for domestic violence provided by the R.C.M.P. reveal a steady increase from 1998 to 2000 in the Region of Northern Manitoba. Charges increased by 21 % in 2000 when compared with 1999. Male perpetrators comprise the vast majority of those charges with a domestic violence offence.

Over the last eight years a group of concerned citizens has been working in partnership with service providers and others to develop practical solutions to address the problems on domestic violence in Northern Manitoba communities. This work began in earnest in 2000 when the YWCA of Thompson initiated a series of public meetings where community members came together to discuss a strategy for dealing with domestic violence. From this process, a community committee was formed which included representatives from service providers, Aboriginal groups, citizen volunteers, correctional services and labour organizations. Based on the opinions expressed during the public meetings, the community committee concluded that the traditional residual approaches to dealing with domestic violence were not effective. The committee recognized that a new approach was needed: one that embraced an overall preventive focus built on a foundation of increased public awareness and community capacity building.

It was from the community committee that the group “Men Are Part of the Solution” (M.A.P.S.) was formed. M.A.P.S. originated as a group of volunteers dedicated to increasing options for men by developing initiatives to empower them toward healthy alternatives to abuse in their relationships. M.A.P.S. believes that, as the consequences of domestic violence affect entire communities, it is the community that is responsible for providing an environment where true healing can occur. This is not to devalue current approaches to treatment, but rather to emphasize that treatment must occur within a particular context: a context where the community participates in the treatment, service is based on a holistic healing model and where the community will hold men accountable for their abusive behaviour. It is this fundamental philosophy that has, and continues to guide M.A.P.S.’ activity.


To provide men with the support and resources to build healthy relationships with their partner, families and communities.


We believe in the value of both men and women, a community-orientation, and a commitment to non-violence.