Statistics Canada reports 80% of all domestic violence cases go unreported. Campbell River RCMP hopes to change that by releasing monthly statistics on the domestic abuse calls it responds to in order to help erase the stigma around the ongoing violence.
“Domestic violence needs to be reported,” said Campbell River RCMP Constable Maury Tyre. “Unfortunately what we see a lot of is domestic violence escalates. It doesn’t deescalate without any sort of intervention.”
In 2020, the Campbell River RCMP will be placing an extra focus on Domestic Violence awareness and prevention. Part of this initiative will involve a monthly report regarding how many domestic related files police attend in town and it will also tell some of the domestic violence stories without naming victims or the accused.
“It’s extremely important for the public to be aware of the ongoing issues with domestic violence in our community,” said RCMP Domestic Violence coordinator Cst. Julie Clelland. “Part of ending the stigma of silence when it comes to reporting Domestic Violence is to make the public aware of just how prevalent of an issue it is and understanding that it is an issue that affects all socio-economic levels of the community and is not specific to one gender, age group, or culture.”
In Canada, roughly 25% of homicides are a result of domestic violence and while overall reported domestic violence rates are down 12% in Canada since 2009, Campbell River RCMP says it’s seeing an increase in the severity of violence.
“That’s when we start to worry because that means it is progressing to the point where we could see people permanently injured, disfigured or worse,” added Tyre.
The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society helps hundreds of women and children out of abusive relationships every year but says the more we talk about the problem the better.
“We’ve been around for over 30 years and we still hear from people who didn’t know we were here so we need to make sure that everybody knows there are services for women trying to get out of an abusive relationship,” said Executive Director Valery Puetz.
The message from the RCMP and the Transition Society is don’t wait until it’s too late to get help.
“It starts out small and irregular and over time the incidents get bigger and closer together and more dangerous,” added Puetz.