Release Date: December 4th, 2019 - 11:27am
Originator: Deputy Chief, Jeff Hill, Office of the Chief, 905-825-4747 ext. 4720
Contact: Manager, Jennifer Hartman, Corporate Communications , 905-825-4747 ext. 4904
Location: Halton Region
Incidents of intimate partner violence threaten the very sense of safety and well-being that defines our region.
Last year, our officers responded to more than 3,300 intimate partner domestic violence calls. We also know that intimate partner violence is overwhelmingly under-reported. In fact, Statistics Canada estimates that more than 80 per cent of these incidents go unreported.
Starting this week, the Halton Regional Police Service will periodically publish media releases that capture a de-identified incident of intimate partner violence in the community. No names. No residence details. We will, however, disclose the nature of the incident and what charges were laid as a result of an investigation. Each media release will also include key messaging that:
i) reinforces that no one has the right to abuse another person;
ii) encourages victims and witnesses to contact the Halton Regional Police Service; and
iii) provides a comprehensive list of community resources for those affected.
Our goals with this new approach to community-facing messaging are two-fold: i) create an opportunity to connect others who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of intimate partner violence, with the resources and support they need and deserve; and ii) heighten the awareness of the general public regarding how pervasive this violence is in our community.
"Intimate partner violence reaches across socio-economic, cultural, racial and class distinctions. It is a community problem that requires community engagement to address," says Deputy Chief Jeff Hill. "It is impossible to fix what you can't see, so we are broadening the conversation to clearly signal that this insidious violence is not solely an issue of concern to victims. If you see something, say something."
"We applaud the Halton Regional Police Service for taking this bold step," says Diane Beaulieu, Executive Director of Halton Women's Place. "An increase in public awareness will help de-stigmatize the issue of gender-based violence, and particularly violence against women. Every person in the community is entitled to feel safe in their home."
Given the prevalence of intimate partner violence in the region, it is imperative that all stakeholders shed light on this issue. In collaboration with our community partners, through ongoing education and shared information, the Halton Regional Police Service hopes to further prevent and reduce future victimization.