Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s also the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which is commemorated every year around the world to raise awareness and trigger action on this pervasive human rights violation. The event culminates on December 10, which is International Human Rights Day.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, Canada commemorates the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6 to mark the anniversary of the murder of 14 young women at École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989.
Halifax Regional Police, through our Victim Services Unit, assists victims of intimate partner abuse and sexualized violence. The unit is comprised of civilian employees and volunteers who work with police members to assist with non-policing issues such as emotional support and referral information. Victim Services employees and volunteers:
- work collaboratively with police officers to assist victims of crime
- screen and review all intimate partner/spousal and sexualized violence calls to police
- provide crisis intervention and support to victims at a scene
- provide case coordination with primary service providers, safety planning, and information to victims identified as being at high risk.
Any person who has been the victim of a crime, regardless of gender or age, may use the services of the Victim Services Unit by calling 902-490-5300.
HRP continues to strive to raise awareness surrounding domestic violence, gendered violence and sexualized violence. This year, domestic violence and sexualized violence are part of the organization’s annual goals, ensuring that we’re undertaking initiatives which enhance our understanding of victimology and traumatization, allow for a trauma-informed response to these calls, and focus on prevention efforts which address offenders instead of victims.
“Eliminating violence against women requires collaboration and partnerships between community, service providers and all levels of government,” says Dr. Verona Singer, HRP Victims Services Coordinator. “As we mark the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, we’re working collaboratively to commemorate those women who lost their lives by continuing discussions on gendered violence and sharing information about ways that people and organizations in Nova Scotia are working to address intimate partner and sexualized violence.”
More information on HRP Victim Services can be found at http://www.halifax.ca/Police/Programs/victimservices.php