Officials targeting high rate of Okanagan domestic violence

Statistics Canada’s report on the rates of domestic violence has sobering news for the Okanagan.

bobbi-sue menard

Black Press

Statistics Canada’s report on the rates of domestic violence has sobering news for the Okanagan.

The region, including Lake Country finished third in the country for rates of domestic violence.

The Lake Country RCMP detachment responded to 31 spousal assaults and 19 domestic disputes in 2010.

Victim services are available to everyone who is a victim of violence in Lake Country.

Cory Berger is the manager of police services for the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, victim services for Lake Country area covered by the RDCO.

Regardless of the incident, victim services are available to residents on a consent basis, should the RCMP be involved in an incident.

Many Lake Country residents travel to Kelowna for work, and victim services has the flexibility to meet the needs of their clients.

Services can be made available through the Lake Country detachment, in Kelowna and through support services such as Elizabeth Fry.

In a small community with lower levels of anonymity, Berger says many people use the phone to call in to ask questions about services.

It is an approach that allows victims the space to decide on what is best in their own situation.

Services are always provided when the client consents.

“A lot can be discussed over the phone, depending on individual needs,” said Berger.

“Some people just need emotional support.”

Berger says there has been a concerted effort at the district level to ensure that anyone who needs support will receive it in a meaningful and effective manner.

Agencies have come together to provide programs to victims of violence.

It is a question of making certain that everyone knows they can get support in a timely, supportive manner.

“People in Lake Country can access services, we do go out to Lake Country,” says Berger.

To reach victim services call 250-470-6242.