Metro Vancouver, B.C. – “It is imperative that we as citizens speak out against violence in relationships if we are going to change society's culture,” said Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord.
Last week, service agencies, researchers, youth and members of the public gathered to do just that: raise their voices and elevate the discussion around how to end unhealthy relationships, and build those that form the foundation of vibrant, healthy communities.
"We really wanted to engage the local community and encourage community leaders to join hands with us to change society's attitude towards violence in relationships. We want the community to say: 'it is not okay’,” said Dr. Balbir Gurm, facilitator of the Network to End Violence in Relationships (NEVR) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). “This was the first of many events that will be held in the upcoming year to start a community movement.”
Hosted by NEVR, the Healthy Relationships fundraising dinner aimed to raise funds and awareness for the many initiatives dedicated to eliminating violence in relationships throughout the Lower Mainland.
Resource tables, presentations and a play about the abuse cycle process educated and impacted hundreds of guests.
“I’ve been involved in victim services for a number of years, yet when I played the woman being abused in the play, I solidified in my mind how terrifying the experience is for a woman in the situation," said Lovepreet Brar, RCMP Victim Services. "I know how horrible the experience is for families and why it is so important to have services available for all members of the family."
A toolkit that trains stylists and bartenders on how to identify domestic violence – training that's offered for free by KPU – and presentations by winners of the Healthy Relationship Contest were also featured. Open to students grades 5-12, the art and essay contest encouraged students to define, through either medium, the characteristics of healthy and safe relationships.
NEVR is a community action group that works toward eliminating violence in relationships across the Lower Mainland. For more information, visit kpu.ca/NEVR.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.