To help combat the relationship violence pandemic, especially during the COVID -19 pandemic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor Dr. Balbir Gurm and her team have launched an e-book.
Making Sense of a Global Pandemic: Relationship Violence & Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society draws on expertise of those working in the Surrey, Delta and Langley area of British Columbia working to addresses overall relationship violence.
The e-book defines relationship violence, looks at the statistics and the healthcare response, and examines how to reduce and eliminate violence in relationships along with addressing violence against different ages and genders. The book also addresses violence in Indigenous communities, refugee/immigrant communities, LGBQT2S1A+ relationships, post-secondary institutions and the workplace.
“I wanted to bring a critical comprehensive understanding of relationship violence to not only those who work in the anti-violence sector but to academics, policymakers, and the general public,” says Gurm. “I want everyone to understand the issue, its prevalence and ways to address it.”
Gurm is the founder of Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR), a team working across multiple disciplines and sectors to address relationship violence. She says they wrote the book because relationship violence hasn’t received the attention it needs despite the World Health Organization recognizing freedom from interpersonal violence as a basic human right.
During the COVID -19 pandemic, domestic violence calls are up raising fears amongst groups like NEVR that those who need help might not be receiving that help.
“The increase is because one of the contributing factors in relationship violence is isolation,” adds Gurm. “If the person abusing you is always present it is difficult to get help.”
Relationship violence is any violence, physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial that occurs between two individuals that know each other.
“Relationship violence is a result of multiple impacts, such as taken-for-granted inequalities, policies and practices that accept sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and ageism. It can span the entire age spectrum and it may start in-utero and end with the death of the victim.”
Gurm says because relationship violence is a major human rights violation and public health concern with serious long-term physical and mental health consequences, we all need to work on tackling it.
Making Sense of a Global Pandemic: Relationship Violence & Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society, by Gurm, Glaucia Salgado, Jennifer Marchbank and Sheila Early, launches July 22, 2020. To attend the virtual book launch, register here. The e-book is available here.