Our Waterloo Region community has a lot to say about most any topic you can think of, but, we are particularly passionate when it comes to talking about making change for a healthier and stronger community. We’re pretty good at moving to action too, not just talking about it!
To take a deeper look at the Single Parent Headed Households indicator in Snapshot in Time: Root Causes of Crime in Waterloo Region, we talked to Julie Philips, Chief Operating Officer for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Waterloo Region.
1. What is your response to the data presented on this indicator/variable? How does it make you feel when you reflect on this indicator?
Communities with a higher proportion of lone-parent headed households are associated with higher crime rates. Children from lone parent headed households face low incomes and other significant risk factors for becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime. The chart below tracks percentage of lone parent families in Waterloo Region and Ontario.
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but how it treats its lowest ones” - Nelson Mandela
A woman’s purse is snatched as she walks downtown. A youth is swarmed and attacked by four other youth. A man pounds on his neighbour’s door, uttering threats when she refused to return his son’s football. The woman fears leaving her home. Fear of crime can skyrocket for such victims of crime. Trouble concentrating, hyper-vigilance, and a generalized feeling of being unsafe may ensue. Crime victims may install alarm systems, seek Peace Bonds, or relocate, but an increased fear of crime may persist.
There has long been a perception that Kitchener's downtown core is more unsafe than other downtowns and neighbourhoods in our Region. To dig deeper into the Snapshot in Time: Root Causes of Crime in Waterloo Region indicator on fear of crime, we tracked down the Mayor of Kitchener, Carl Zehr.
Fear of crime may cause an increase in crime within a community.
I live a busy life. Like many of you, I wear a lot of hats in our community. I have a really hard time saying ‘no’ to people, causes, and commitments that intrigue me.
Social capital refers to the human connections and capacities that contribute to the wealth and well being of a community. Social capital is developed in many ways such as participating in community groups, helping someone solve a problem or by saying hello to a neighbour. High levels of social capital have been linked to reduced violence in neighbourhoods.
Thanks to the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council for their 2012 report A Snapshot in Time: The Root Causes of Crime in Waterloo Region. The report has been a conversation starter for important dialogue in our community.