Keep children out of domestic incidents suggests RCMP

July saw 40 calls for domestic violence in Campbell River

Campbell River RCMP responded to 40 incidents of domestic disputes in July, which was a drop of 11 incidents as compared to the same time last year.

“One month of a significant reduction in files is positive,” said Const. Maury Tyre. “What we really need to see is a continuing and sustained downward trend to really be able to say whether domestic violence policies and police actions are helping us turn a corner in regards to reducing domestic violence in the community.”

One of the things police have to deal with when it comes to domestic situations are custody issues. According to the RCMP, despite the fact that these complaints are common they are not actually part of the regular police duties and RCMP members do not have any authority in these situations.

There’s one thing I recommend to everyone who has children together and ends their relationship, said Tyre. Be sure to create a legally binding custody agreement and one that is easily understandable with enforceable conditions.

He continued, saying that flexibility is key for coparenting, and that bad blood does not need to spill over into the lives of children involved.

“Police often see parents using children as pawns in post break up relations with their exes. It’s damaging to the children and because the kids mean so much to each parent it can even stir up violence between the parents which doesn’t work for anybody,” Tyre added. “If there are issues, pick a mutually agreed upon public place to exchange custody of the children. Public locales where people know they are being watched do seem to reduce some conflicts.”

Other issues that come up in domestic disputes are the illegal sharing of intimate images. According to the Canada Criminal Code, sharing these kinds of images without consent is illegal and carries a maximum sentence of five years.

The absolute best thing you can do is not take or transmit the initial intimate image of yourself,” Tyre said. “Perhaps in the modern age this may seem prudish, but it really is the only way to protect yourself. We see people telling us they don’t know how the picture got out, but there are so many ways. Apps like Snapchat make people believe the image will be automatically erased in short order, but there are ways to circumvent that. These images, once you send them in a text or a chat are out into the ether and they are forever. If you don’t want your kids to find it 20 years from now, just don’t take that photo.

The situation becomes worse for those who are not legally of age. These photos can spread like wildfire through schools and social groups, the RCMP explained, and have detrimental effects on people’s mental health. Also, distribution of these images is distribution of child pornography and comes with severe consequences.

Those who are or who know someone who is the victim of domestic violence are asked to contact the Campbell River RCMP at at 250-286-6221 or in an emergency call 911.

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