B.C. Government seeks to address domestic violence

The Province is looking for feedback as they begin to craft their three-year plan to address domestic violence in the province.

The B.C. provincial government is looking for feedback as they begin to craft their three-year plan to address domestic violence in the province.

A new survey is available now from the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence that will help the government collect feedback in the formulation of the new plan.

“To truly improve the way we address domestic violence requires not only co-ordination across government agencies, but also collaboration with our community partners and meaningful response to public feedback,” said Stephanie Cadieux, minister of children and family development.

The government will also be working with experts, and that information will be combined in the final product.

“Ministers representing diverse sectors of government had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the experts who develop and deliver services and supports each day to British Columbians impacted by domestic violence,” Cadieux said.

The feedback will create a three-year action plan, but there are already many programs available right now for those in need.

“Our government has taken important steps to address domestic violence in B.C., including the new Family Law Act and the creation of the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence,” said Shirley Bond, Attorney General. “By listening to the voices of those impacted by violence, and with help from experts in the field, we are building on that strong foundation.”

Included in the new plan will be an Aboriginal strategy and address the needs of immigrants, refugee women and women with disabilities.

On January 21, six B.C. ministers sat down with representatives from 46 partner organizations that deliver services to support those affected by domestic violence. Those ministers were Cadieux and Bond, Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Education Minister Don McRae, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong, Social Development Minister Dr. Moira Stilwell and Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman.

The plan is set to be developed and implemented by the summer.

The online questionnaire isn’t the only way to participate in the study. The questions can also be printed and faxed or mailed in. Details are on the survey’s website at http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/podv/questionnaire.asp. The questionnaire will be accepted until February 18.

If you, a family member or a friend are experiencing dometic violence or abuse of any kind, resources can be accessed by visiting www.domesticviolence.ca or www.victimlinkbc.ca.

Locally, Kootenay residents can contact the Canadian Mental Health Association Kootenays Branch, www.kootenays.cmha.bc.ca. There are two safe houses available in Cranbrook; the Kootenay Haven Transition House, and for women they can access the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre. Kootenay Haven offers support 24-hours a day, which can be accessed by calling (250) 426-4887 or toll free at 1 800 200 3003.