Red dresses hang on the sign at Robert Ostler Park on May 5, which is designated as Red Dress Day to commemorate murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. A gathering at the Longhouse was held to mark the day and the MMWIG. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River sees its share of gender violence and missing people

RCMP acknowledge MMIWG awareness day

Campbell River is not immune to the reality of missing people and violence against women, but the RCMP detachment says these kinds of cases are getting the kind of attention they deserve.

“It is very important for us to acknowledge that police forces were not always as they are now, where every missing person case and murder investigation has extremely strict investigative standards,” reads a release from the detachment. “As a police force we need to remember that past and strive for not only intensely high investigative standards, but also the necessary cultural understanding and compassion to help reconcile the wounds of the past.”

May 5 was the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The goal is to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people in Canada and the United States.

RELATED: Campbell River gathering commemorates murdered and missing women and girls

Sadly, Missing Person’s files are a daily regularity in Campbell River, Const. Maury Tyre said May 5. So too is violence against women, and as a society we clearly need to find a way to move forward where men can find a way to deal with their anger in ways other than violence perpetrated on others, especially women.

The local detachment has so far responded to 55 calls for missing persons, thankfully all of those individuals have been located. Local police are also seeing a drastic increase in female teen runaways that “creates a whole other high risk situation where these young women can end up long term missing, sucked into a seedy underworld or even dead. Sadly in many of these case, what the youth are searching for is unfettered freedom and not necessarily fleeing any kind of abuse.

It’s so important that guardians have these talks with their children and really explain the dangers that lurk in the shadows in order to prevent a lot of the high risk behaviours that often creates the situations where predators can gain easy access to the unprotected and naïve,” Tyre said.

The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society provides programs, support and services to women, gender non-conforming, non-binary and two-spirited people, trans women and their children in the area. Their 24-hour help line is 250-286-3666, and toll free at 1-800-667-2188.

RELATED: ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ launched by Campbell River and North Island Transition Society

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