New Domestic Violence Unit Ready to Roll
Solicitor General Mike Morris talks about the importance of working together – video 250News
Prince George BC- Prince George now has a dedicated provincially funded team focused on domestic violence.
With $100 thousand in funding the Prince George team will include an RCMP officer who is dedicated to domestic violence cases, a community based victim services worker and an embedded child protection worker.
The Prince George Detachment of the RCMP has responded to about 240 domestic violence calls so far this year, it is a situation not unique to Prince George, but Solicitor General Mike Morris says the number of calls throughout the North District region are disproportionately higher per capita than in other areas of the province.
The funding for this unit was first announced last spring, but those dollars were put towards start up costs. The Unit will have to apply for a grant from Civil Forfeiture dollars annually in order to keep operating.
Solicitor General Mike Morris says the issue of domestic violence is a personal one “Domestic violence is something that I grew up with” and reflected on his early days in training with the RCMP where professional actors would act out a domestic violence scene and the Mounties in training would have to interject and diffuse the situation. “That was a major hurdle for me to get over” said Morris “It conjured up all kinds of memories and it was a significant issue I had to get over.”
Morris says efforts to reduce domestic violence and protect its victims are not something that can be handled by just one agency “It’s the collaboration we need between not only my Ministry of Public Safety, but Health, education, children and family services and a myriad of other agencies are all necessary in order to provide that level of service that we need to break that cycle of family violence.”
Morris say it is important to not only protect victims, it is also important to deal with the perpetrators “We have to make the perpetrators really understand that what they’re doing is not normal activity. It is not acceptable in today’s society, and it’s not acceptable for children, or anyone we have in the community.”
Morris says the work to combat domestic violence will require a concerted effort from all sectors of the community “This work is urgent.” said Morris “”Collectively, if everybody’s oars are in the water, we can make a difference for the future of not only the people in Prince George, but the people in British Columbia.”
This is the 9th Domestic Violence Unit in the province and will officially start work on October 24th.