Skip to main content

Campaign launched to combat alarming rise in intimate partner violence


York Regional Police (YRP) and community partners are launching a three-month bus and billboard campaign to create awareness about intimate partner violence, a trend many support groups call an epidemic.

"The reality is we don't know how many people this has affected because it's so underreported," said Alvaro Almeida, YRP deputy chief of investigations.

"It is so pervasive that one in three women have orwill experience physical or sexual violence by a partner," added Jaspreet Gill, York Region Centre for Community Safety executive director.

Police in York Region respond to more than 6,000 reports of intimate partner violence annually.

"I've been a police officer for well over three decades. We're still having the same conversation. Although we've come a long way, there's a lot more work to be done," Almeida said.

Officials say the ripple effect of the issue is generational.

"Children who grow up in homes where they witness violence grow up with double the rate of psychiatric disorders compared to children who grow up in non-violent homes," Gill said.

One of the campaign's goals is to try and help change the stigma around survivors.

"Perception being, well if a man hit you, just leave. We really need to shift the narrative. We have to shift the perception that if somebody raises a hand against a woman, it isn't the woman's problem. It is the man's problem," Gill stated.

Another objective is to encourage survivors to come forward and report abuse, which is often prevented by a variety of fears, including attending a police station, which is why victims can now access a less daunting environment in the York Region Centre for Community Safety.

Almeida urged understanding and empathy, emphasizing the importance of creating an environment where survivors feel supported when sharing their experiences.

"Put yourselves in the shoes of someone that has to come forward and talk about how they were violated, how they were coerced, or how they've been controlled," the deputy chief of investigations noted.

Stakeholders in the campaign stress that intimate partner violence is a community issue, not just a police issue. They believe that a successful campaign will increase awareness and lead to a rise in reported incidents, marking a crucial step in addressing this pressing societal problem. Top Stories

Trump says his criminal indictments boosted his appeal to Black voters

Former U.S. president Donald Trump claimed Friday that his four criminal indictments have boosted his support among Black Americans because they see him as a victim of discrimination, comparing his legal jeopardy to the historic legacy of anti-Black prejudice in the U.S. legal system.

Stay Connected