Almost 200 participants from the community attended NEVR’s conference, Tipping the Scales of Justice: Supporting Women, Children, and Families, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) on November 1, 2012.
For immediate release
November 6, 2012
Kwantlen, in partnership with other founding members of NEVR, host successful conference, taking important first step towards a Domestic Violence Plan
(Metro Vancouver, BC) - The Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) held its first conference/community forum, Tipping the Scales of Justice: Supporting Women, Children, and Families, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) on November 1, 2012. Almost 200 participants from the community including: government ministries, the Deputy Minister of Justice Lynda Cavanaugh, representatives from the justice and health systems, offender services and victim service providers, came to listen to the dynamic and informative speakers.
"The conference provided a unique opportunity for the community to dialogue about how the criminal justice system can better support women and children fleeing domestic violence,” said Sonya Boyce, executive director, Surrey Women’s Centre. “By tipping the scales of justice in support of women and children, we not only increase safety -- we save lives.”
“After we collate the ideas from the conference and integrate the research findings from our study, Understanding Domestic Abuse from Multiple Perspectives, NEVR members will then report our findings to the community,” said Dr. Balbir Gurm, nursing faculty, KPU. “We will create a concrete action plan, and feed the information to the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence to ensure the overall strategy created is relevant for the local community – Surrey, North Delta and White Rock.”
During the conference, Maryam Majedi, from the Surrey Women’s Centre, spoke about the issues of multiple court delays and how the Kelowna Project and the Toronto Provincial Domestic Violence Plan are examples for NEVR to consider. Associate Chief Judge Gurmail Singh Gill outlined the complexities of domestic violence, and Geoffrey Cowper (BC Justice Reform Initiative chair) discussed how an initiative that works in one community may not work in another. Simon Thomson (Crown counsel) also shared a model implemented in Abbotsford that has resulted in improved dealings with domestic violence. Cory Heavener (provincial director of domestic violence) outlined the provinces process for creating a plan on domestic violence, while Sobhana Daniel (director engagement, Provincial Office of Domestic Violence) discussed the importance of listening to community groups while creating a viable response.
NEVR is a community action group that was established in 2011. The group conducts research on what community members think can be done to improve the system in dealing with domestic violence. The group is currently interviewing members of the justice system, government departments, health care members, service providers, offenders and victims for their research. The purpose of NEVR is to work towards reducing and eliminating violence in relationships in Surrey, North Delta, and White Rock, through coordinated, open and seamless service delivery, collaboration, sharing of resources among service providers, community leaders, educators and government bodies.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Please visit: kwantlen.ca.
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Dr. Balbir Gurm
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