Domestic violence is continuing at routine levels in Campbell River so far this year.
But there is nothing routine about the RCMP response.
“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 effects all socio-economic levels of the community and is not specific to one gender, age group, or culture,” RCMP Domestic Violence coordinator Const. Julie Clelland said in January.
Releasing monthly reports and providing context for them is one way the RCMP can help do that.
During the month of February, Campbell River RCMP reported responding to 39 separate domestic violence reports and another five reports related to breach of bail conditions related to domestic violence files.
In January, the detachment responded to 40 files, and another seven related to breach of conditions.
The reports are part of an increased focus being placed by the force on awareness and prevention of these disturbing crimes.
It’s not always violence
“When we look at domestic abuse cases it’s important to understand that situations do not always involve violence,” the monthly report reads. “Domestic abuse is often based on power and control and abusers often use threats of harm or extortion in order to control their victims. Threats can vary, from threats of violence, financial repercussions, or withholding children’s visitations.”
In one example of this type of abuse that the Campbell River RCMP investigated last month, according to the report: “after multiple incidents of physical abuse and police intervention, the abuser used the victims friends and social media accounts to pass threats on to the victim in order to maintain a level of control on her life.
“Despite court-ordered no contact conditions, directly or indirectly, these behaviours continued. Even without physical contact the abuser continued to torment the victim until he was charged again and held in custody.”
What to Do?
“If you are receiving physical threats of violence from an abuser, report it to the police immediately,” the RCMP report says. “Other threats should be reported as well, but unfortunately there are times when the police will not be able to take legal action as the actions of the abuser do not meet the criteria of criminal activity. In these cases there are often options in civil court or the abuser can be warned by police that the continuation of their activities could constitute a criminal offence.
“In lesser situations, block the individual on social media or change your social media profile. When you do this, ensure that your friends are aware that you wish to have no contact with your abuser and make sure they do not share new contact information.
“If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, contact the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221 or, in an emergency, call 911.”