Campbell River RCMP saw an increase in domestic violence files in November over the same time last year.
This year, 38 files were called in to the RCMP. Thirty of those were disputes or threats, and eight were defined as assaults. In 2019 there were 34 cases overall, including 16 assaults and 18 disputes or threats.
The RCMP have been working with the Campbell River Violence in Relationships Committee (VIR) to help contextualize the data that comes from the community. That collaboration also includes Community-Based Victim Services, who, along with the RCMP, have seen a trend of increasing severity of abuse being reported.
“I know one of the things that has come up recently is the numbers may not be growing with COVID, but the actual level of violence at time seems more severe,” said Const. Maury Tyre. “COVID may have created a situation where minor altercations or emotional abuse has morphed into physical or severe physical violence because there is an inability for couples to gain space from each other during the lockdown.”
Community-Based Victim Services has seen 17 new referrals in November in addition to 38 general inquiries. In November 2019, they had 16 referrals and 23 inquiries.
“The Violence in Relationships Committee wants the community of Campbell River to know that supports are still available and that it is important to reach out and ask for help if you need it,” read an RCMP release on the subject. “If you are in immediate danger, always call 911.”
Services and agencies in Campbell River are still open and available for support, however, some may be operating remotely by telephone. These numbers, listed below, are crisis lines that are available 24-hours a day:
• The Campbell River & North Island Transition Society Help Line: 250-286-3666 or toll-free 1-800-667-2188 or text 250-895-1773;
• VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, and multilingual telephone service which provides information and referral assistance to all victims of crime, in addition to immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence: 1-800-563-0808;
• If you think a child or youth (under 19 years of age) is being abused or neglected, call 1-800-663-9122