Halton police changing how it reports domestic violence
Halton Regional Police (HRP) announced a new approach to how it handles incidents of domestic violence.
“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,” said HRP. “In fact, Statistics Canada estimates that more than 80 per cent of these incidents go unreported.”
Effective immediately, Halton police says it will now periodically released details of intimate partner violence in the region.
They added that while no names or residence information will be provided, Halton police will disclose the nature of the incident and what charges were laid as a result of an investigation.
“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.”
The goal, as outlined by HRP, is to reinforce that no one has the right to abuse another person, encourage victims and witnesses to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, and provide a comprehensive list of community resources for those affected.
“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.”
Halton police call the initiative “community-facing messaging” and believe it will create an opportunity to connect others who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of intimate partner violence with resources and support. They also hope to heighten community awareness and prevent future victimization.
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