The Saskatchewan RCMP is marking Saskatchewan Violence Prevention Month by reminding people that there are resources for victims of violence.
Part of the way people can receive this help is by utilizing 211 services, no matter where they are in the province. They say that this can cut down on the frustration that could discourage victims from getting help, as all resources are listed there and on 211’s website. Previously in the summer, 211 did also get funding to upgrade these services.
Now, 211 is available 24/7 all year round, through phone, text or online so that people experiencing domestic violence can get the help they need in the appropriate and effective channel, 211 Saskatchewan says. Over the phone, for example, services are available in over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages as well.
Back in the summer, police forces also used the RCMP’s Family Violence Initiative Fund to complete a Division-wide, general duty business card re-print. The new business cards will have the RCMP contact information on the front, in English and French, and 211 Saskatchewan information on the back, and can be handed out to possible victims when needed.
The RCMP is also reminding people that investigations of violence in relationships remains a high priority for them, and they will respond immediately to a call for help in this regard.
They add they’ve been training officers to respond to these calls in the most effective way by launching the Violence in Relationships Course in October of 2019. This training gave officers an opportunity to listen to the experiences of survivors of intimate partner violence, understand the cycles of violence and how interactions with police can change the outcome of these situations.
They also encourage people, whether or not they decide to reach out to the RCMP for help, to get in touch with local victim services, shelters, cultural and community health centres, Indigenous friendship centres and other community centres for support when needed. They also advise people who believe they know a victim of violence to reach out and help them find a support network.
From January to September 2020, there have been 3,711 victims of intimate partner violence reported to the Saskatchewan RCMP across the province. So far, 2,529 of these files resulted in charges.