Domestic violence plan gains local proponents

The provincial government says more than 20,000 professionals will receive training on addressing domestic violence

A new strategy to reduce domestic violence is garnering support in the North Okanagan.

The provincial government says more than 20,000 professionals will receive training on addressing domestic violence.

“It’s exactly what’s needed if there is follow-through and agencies do work together,” said Debby Hamilton, with the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society.

This year, training on recognizing and responding to domestic  violence is being provided to 4,000 school personnel and community partners and 2,500 support workers in victim services, violence against women, and transition house programs.

Also as part of the plan, 3,500 Ministry of Children and  Family Development staff, and an additional 13,000 school personnel, will receive training starting in 2013. Police officers will receive additional training on assessing risk and safety planning.

Starting this year, there will be an enhanced flagging system in the integrated justice  information database for files involving child victims.

The strategy will also look at all domestic violence training programs for service  providers across government to identify strengths, duplications and  gaps.

Hamilton is pleased that specific timelines have been established for reaching these goals.

“I worry when initiatives become politicized and may bridge an election, but because there are tight timelines, that makes me feel better,” she said.

Hamilton’s only concern is agencies may not have the resources available to proceed with the strategy.

“It needs to have some dollars attached with it,” she said.

The plan was developed in consultation with the ministries of children and family development, health, justice, social development, education and aboriginal relations.