FALL RIVER: Halifax County, which includes the Musquodoboit Valley and Fall River areas, saw 386 reports of violence against women in 2015 according to data from Statistics Canada and released in a report by Discourse Media.
The data—from more than 600 communities across Canada—shows that the national average for violence is 1,114.
Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, spokesman for Halifax District RCMP, said while he could not speak specifically to the stats, he did say it is a women’s right to live safely and free of society.
“As a society we need to continue to come together and work on prevention methods and supports for those that have been impacted,” said Cpl. Hutchinson.
While the stats show that police-reported violence against women in Halifax County is well below the national average, the numbers tell me that there are 386 times a woman has been a victim of violence.
“That has a devastating and lasting impact on the woman, her family and friends,” he said. “Ultimately, impacting an entire community. Having one incident is one too many.
The statistics provided, reinforces that we need to continue educational efforts to prevent these incidents, to support victims of crime and work together in a whole of community approach to address reasons why the violence is occurring.”
Cpl. Hutchinson said the RCMP responds to every complaint they receive and take reports of violence against individuals seriously.
“With cases, involving domestic violence, Domestic Violence Case Coordinators are in place throughout the province to ensure information sharing of high risk situations,” he said. “The RCMP Victim Service Program provides assistance and support to victims of crime and trauma through our police based Victim Service Program. All RCMP Victim Service volunteers are trained and work under the supervision of the RCMP.”
He said prevention is key to decreasing the numbers and ideally should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality.
“We encourage people to speak up,” said Cpl. Hutchinson. “Don’t be a bystander and allow these incidents to happen to the woman in our community or our lives. If you witness violence then report it to police and if you are a woman who has experienced violence we want you to feel comfortable to report it and know we have supports in place or can connect you to supports to help you.”