It Can Happen to Anyone
The women and men of the Saanich Police respond to situations of Relationship Violence on an all too frequent basis. With approximately 110,000 people in Saanich and 50,950 (based on 2003 stats) of those in common law or marriage relationships there are bound to be disagreements that are reported to police. The 911 calls reporting this kind of violence may come to us from neighbours, passers-by, family members in the home or one of the people involved in the dispute. It is important for people of all ages and circumstances to know there is help available.
Over the years this kind of relationship violence has had many names. It has been called Domestic Violence, Family Violence, and Violence in Intimate Relationships. No matter what the name, we can all agree that the price of this kind of violence is profound in terms of physical and emotional suffering and loss of human potential.
Relationship violence has no boundaries. It is a pattern of abusive behaviour that is used in a relationship based on power and control. The abusive behaviour can include: physical abuse, emotional or verbal abuse, social abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and/or spiritual abuse. It is important to note that relationship violence does not have to include physical violence. Relationship violence often starts as emotional/verbal abuse and has the potential to evolve into physical violence and may even escalate to lethal levels. The dynamics of relationship violence not only impacts the people involved in the conflict but also has real consequences for children who witness it. Children are often the forgotten victims of this type of violence.
Relationship violence does not end just because the relationship ends, and in many cases the most dangerous time for a person in an abusive relationship is when that person makes an attempt to free themselves, from the situation.
If you are in a relationship where there is relationship violence:
Talk to someone about your feelings. Since relationship violence is traumatic and overwhelming, it is important for you to have support. If you find that family or friends are not able to understand, or cannot offer all the support you need, there are a number of agencies where trained professionals can assist you in a caring, confidential manner.
Know that you are not alone. Both men and women have reported experiencing violence at the hands of a spouse or romantic partner.
Plan for your safety. Once violence has occurred in a relationship, it is likely to re-occur. It is important to have a plan for how to protect yourself from future violence. Talk to a trusted friend or relative about what is happening and arrange to stay with that person when things get bad.
Your safety is of utmost importance. If you require emergency assistance call the police immediately. Other resources available to you include:
- Greater Victoria Police Victim Services (250-995-7351)
- Victoria Women’s Transition House Society (Crisis Line 385-6611)
- Cridge Transition House (479-3963)
- Stopping the Violence Program (592-2927 ext.13)
- Children Who Witness Abuse Program (592-2927)
- Spousal Assault Victim Support Program (356-1201)
- Victim Link (1-800-563-0808)
- Men’s Trauma Centre (381-0493)
Follow this link for a complete list of resources available anywhere in Canada.