Supporting victims of intimate partner violence
2023-04-20 11:36 PDT
File # 2023-17882
During Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, Surrey RCMP is shedding light on the important work of the Surrey Intimate Partner Violence Unit, and their ongoing partnership with Surrey Women’s Centre in providing comprehensive support, referrals and safety planning for victims of intimate partner violence.
In 2022, there were 947 assaults reported to Surrey RCMP that involved violence between intimate partners. This accounts for 28% of total assaults reported to police in Surrey, This statistic includes only incidents reported to police, and police recognize that intimate partner violence is often under-reported.
While intimate partner violence affects people of all demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds, the majority of victims are women.
The Surrey RCMP Intimate Partner Violence Unit is a multidisciplinary team, with support workers from the Surrey Women’s Centre co-located in the detachment to ensure wrap around services for victims throughout the investigative and court process.
Surrey Women’s Centre focuses on safety and care for women and children escaping violence by connecting them with key services. Support services are available directly through the Centre regardless of whether or not a police report is made.
As police, our primary role is to investigate criminal offences, but our ultimate goal is victim safety and ensuring they are supported throughout the entire process, says Corporal Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP Media Relations Officer.
My previous role was working in the Surrey RCMP Intimate Partner Violence Unit and I was fortunate to work alongside Surrey Women’s Centre support workers and see firsthand the positive impacts they have on the lives of survivors of intimate partner violence.
Shahnaz Rahman, Executive Director of Surrey Women’s Centre says:
There is a short critical window of opportunity to intervene if we want to increase survivor’s safety and keep the offender accountable. Regardless of the path survivors may choose regarding reporting the violence to the police or not, Surrey Women’s Centre walks alongside them every step of the way in their journey to safety and freedom from fear. Surrey Women’s Centre takes pride in our partnership with Surrey RCMP to coordinate the best care of survivors who are the highest risk of violence with a potential to fatal outcomes. Through this incredible partnership lives have been saved and we have first-hand seen the positive impact it has had on our clients.
Victims of Intimate Partner Violence - Who to Call
In an emergency, dial 9-1-1. The first priority is to get you to safety. We encourage you to contact police, but if you choose not to, there are other options.
The following services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
- Surrey Women’s Centre - Crisis response team over the phone or in-person. Call 604-583-1295
- VictimLink BC - Toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service. Call 1-800-563-0808.
- Fraser Health Crisis Line - Immediate, confidential emotional support to people of all ages. Call 604-951-8855 or 1-877-820-7444.
More information is available through our website.
Cpl. Vanessa MunnMedia Relations Officer
14355 57 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3X 1A9
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