Pickering declares intimate partner violence an “epidemic”

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Published June 28, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Image credit: rudall30

Pickering has joined Ajax, Whitby and Durham Region and several other Ontario communities in declaring intimate partner violence (IPV) an epidemic and will incorporate IPV initiatives as part of the City’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.

The motion, brought forward by Councillor Linda Cook and approved at Monday night’s Council meeting, also asks the Province to do the same.

Monday’s declaration was prompted by the alarming rise in violence against women and girls in particular across the country, with a woman killed by her intimate partner every six days in Canada.

The Violence Prevention Coordination Council of Durham, which represents 35 local agencies including Luke’s Place, Herizon House, and the Durham Rape Crisis Centre, has reported a “significant” increase in demand for assistance from local IPV support providers around the region.

Demand for support for victims of sexual violence is up a frightening 277 per cent in Durham Region over the past four years, with IPV victim support requests up 32 per cent over the same period.

Legislation addressing family and domestic violence has been passed by six provinces and three territories since a five-person jury delivered 86 recommendations a year ago today, as part of a coroner’s inquest into the murder of three women in 2015 by a former partner.

Ontario has yet to table any legislation on the issue and Councillor Maurice Brenner, who said he was “honoured” to second Cook’s motion, wants that to change.

“It was important to me to as a male to recognize and acknowledge the impact of violence against women,” he said.

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