Domestic violence declared ‘an epidemic’ in Burlington 

Published June 14, 2023 at 9:31 am

Domestic violence against women in Burlington and Halton Region has increased to such an extent the local politicians have declared it “an epidemic.”

At yesterday’s (June 14) meeting, City councillors heard reports that Halton Police receive about 10 calls a day in Burlington in response to incidences of intimate partner violence and that numbers are likely much higher because of unreported cases.

“We heard an astonishing and horrifying statistics from Halton Regional Police Service and Halton Women’s Place, and from members of our community who shared stories of individuals facing this epidemic and how the system failed them,” writes Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on her website. “These cases are often hidden, occurring behind closed doors, and that makes it all the more horrifying.”

Women are the most likely victims although children are often also the target of abuse, according to the Childrens Aid Society.

As a result, Burlington council has declared the situation is at a crisis point and wants to develop a work plan with the Halton Violence Prevention Council (HVPC) to advance the objective of ending intimate partner violence.

Burlington is also calling on the Provincial government to declare intimate partner violence and violence against women as a crisis.

At the meeting, councillors heard that in 2022 there were 3,503 intimate partner violence calls from across the region made to police and that 2,342 calls were made to the Women’s Shelter Crisis helpline.

As well, it was reported that Halton Women’s Place now receives more than 2,500 calls for help each year and supports up to 600 women through various outreach services and sees 140 women and children through their safe shelter every year

“We need to do better,” said the mayor adding the resolution recognizing the crisis is just one step. “We stand with the women and children experiencing this and stand ready to act.”

 

 

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