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Snapshot 2018Violence Prevention Grey Bruce has released a snapshot of local domestic and sexual violence for the period from January to June of 2018. Grey-Bruce is the latest community to release a snapshot as part of a province-wide initiative to raise awareness about gendered violence and its contributing factors.

“Offering a local picture of domestic and sexual violence is important,” said Violence Prevention Grey Bruce Coordinator Jon Farmer. “If we can’t see or name our problems, then we can’t address them either. As a start, our community needs to understand that domestic, sexual, and gendered violence happen here”.
Violence Prevention Grey Bruce engaged 15 partner organizations to compile statistics for the snapshot. The Grey Bruce snapshot lists the number of women killed, domestic and sexual violence calls to police services, calls to women’s shelters, women and children living in shelters, and families receiving service from Bruce Grey Child and Family Services because of domestic and sexual violence. Violence Prevention Grey Bruce also reported on employment and social assistance rates and housing wait lists to draw attention to the way that poverty and precarious housing impact people’s security and safety.

Notably, there were 339 domestic violence related calls to police over the 181-day period which works out to 1.87 calls per day. The number of calls to support and crisis lines run by The Women’s Centre and Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey averaged to more than 26 calls per day and totalled 4,784. The calls to shelter services include calls from survivors of violence who continue to require support months and years after the incidents.

“We can clearly see in these numbers that domestic and gendered violence are contemporary and long lasting problems for our community,” Farmer said. “And these numbers are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more people experiencing violence in Grey Bruce who aren’t captured in these numbers and who need support and services. Our hope in releasing this snapshot is to both raise awareness of the importance of local services and encourage people to ask how we can best prevent violence before it happens. We need to provide support, stability, and education as early as possible in people’s lives if we want these numbers to diminish over the long run”.

The Snapshot 2018 initiative is an 'action-in-a-box' strategy developed by the Southwest Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (SWRCC) to engage and inform individuals and governments about the safety of our communities. The group – of which Violence Prevention Grey Bruce is a member – wanted to build a bigger wave of public attention to the epidemic of femicide and violence against women and children. To date, eight communities have released similar snapshots. All of the snapshots can be found at buildingabiggerwave.org.

According to the SWRCC, gendered violence is a universal problem and requires action across the province. Forty-eight women were killed in Ontario in 2018 through acts of gender-based violence. The Grey Bruce snapshot reports that one woman was killed in our community in the first six months of that year.
According to Farmer, if we want to prevent violence in our communities, then we need to examine the ways we prevent and respond to it here.

“Every one of us need to ask ourselves, our neighbours, and our elected representatives what we’re doing to keep people safe and to reduce the marginalization and inequalities that increase violence,” Farmer said. “When people are well supported – materially and socially – they’re safer”.

Violence Prevention Grey Bruce is a community coordinating committee that connects more than thirty local organizations to increase collaboration and raise awareness about gendered violence in Grey and Bruce counties. For more information about their work, visit www.vpgb.ca.

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