Play held at KPU educates on violence in relationships

Tue, Apr 7, 2015

Surrey, B.C. – The Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) hosted the symposium “It’s Your Call” at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Surrey campus last week.

The event included a play which provided information on the steps that occur from the time a woman calls 9-1-1, up to deposition and probation. It was followed by panel that brought together community to discuss ways to be more than a bystander.

“NEVR brings members together to learn from each other and create action strategies. This year, we used different media, a play, to try to help understand the role of different personnel who deal with emergency domestic violence calls,” said NEVR facilitator Dr. Balbir Gurm, a nursing faculty member at KPU.

NEVR is a community action project that works to change society’s attitude toward violence in relationships, while supporting victims and families.

The play – titled It’s Your Call – was narrated by Superintendent Dave Attfield, RCMP operations manager for the Surrey detachment, and actors were personnel who answers calls and handle such situations every day. The panel included retired Delta Police Department chief Jim Cessford; survived and author Kamal Dhillon of Black and Blue Sari; Lynn Gifford, clinical coordinator for Surrey Memorial Hospital Forensic Nursing Services;  retired BC Lion Jamie Taras, and; Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association of BC.

“Domestic violence and violence against women are issues that affect us all, which is why government worked with its anti-violence partners to develop the Provincial Domestic Violence Plan and the Violence Free BC Strategy,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. “Following up on one of NEVR’s suggestions, we recently launched the #SaySomething campaign (, which provides  information and practical resources for victims and those who want to safely help others.”

The rates of violence in relationships have not decreased, and some of the most vulnerable populations are Aboriginal, immigrants and those with disabilities or mental health issues. The direct costs of medical and social services, court costs, lost income and indirect costs of pain and suffering of violence in relationships is a staggering $151.9 billion annually in Canada.

Post-conference, NEVR is collating participant data to understand how to improve and increase the media campaign to create violence-free families. NEVR – which includes members in government, police, health and education, and non-governmental organizations – will continue to expand its collaboration efforts to support families and change society. 

For more information about NEVR, visit To join, contact facilitator Dr. Balbir Gurm at

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, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 145 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


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