Delta police are launching a relationship violence awareness campaign aimed at encouraging victims to come forward and report incidents of abuse.
In anticipation of the campaign, which is comprised of posters in Delta’s community centres and on the Delta Police Department’s social media channels, and in recognition of the need to provide more support to victims who may not be ready to come forward, the DPD recently launched deltapolice.ca/victim, a go-to resource for victims, their families and their friends.
The launch of the campaign follows an incident in early November that led to a Delta man being charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats.
According to DPD press release, police were contacted by a woman about about alleged domestic assault, including violence and threats. The woman had fled the residence with her children prior to police arriving on scene, and officers took a man into custody, seizing a weapon in the process.
Police advised the woman of resources available to her in Delta and put a safety plan in place for her and her children.
The release states that while relationship violence — commonly known as domestic violence or intimate partner violence — occurs at all times of the year, Delta police can see an increase in such incidents around the holidays.
“There are a number of reasons why women remain in abusive relationships,” DPD victim services co-ordinator Kim Gramlich, said in a press release. Victim services is an operational section of the DPD that specializes in supporting victims of crime and trauma.
“We understand the reasons women stay but we also want women to know they are not alone. There is a tremendous amount of help available,” Gramlich said. “Whether you’re ready to leave, or not, please call us so we can help you navigate what comes next.”
Women ages 15-24 are at the greatest risk of relationship violence, with 54 per cent experiencing sexual coercion in a dating relationship, according to Government of Canada statistics. Women ages 25 to 34 are three times more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted by their spouse than those 45 and older.
On average, less than 19 per cent of these women report the abuse to police.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, help is available by calling the DPD at 604-946-4411, or victim services at 604-940-5019. (In an emergency, call 911.)