Have you ever been a victim of, or witnessed a violent act?
At the end of each day we are met with endless stories of violence on the news, highlighting the often immeasurable impact violence has on the people we love and the places we live. No one is immune to the outcome of violent acts; we are all affected.
Violence affects our children.
- Children witnessing 10 or more incidents of violence before the age of 16 are twice as likely to attempt suicide
- Children witnessing violence have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children who haven’t
- Exposure to violence affects brain development and ability to learn, leading to a whole host of life long challenges including mental health, substance use and criminal behaviour
Violence affects our community.
- Added pressure on our emergency services, counselling and health care services
- Increased violent incidents in schools
- Extensive cost to our legal system
- Loss of housing and property/damage to property
- Cost to business; lost work time and productivity
- Pressure on social services – on any given night, 3,491 women and 2,724 children in Canada sleep in shelters, because it’s not safe at home https://kelownawomensshelter.ca/
Violence comes in many forms.
It’s really not surprising that violent acts often go unreported. Abuse that’s emotional leaves no physical scars and can go undetected, leaving victims feeling helpless to prove that the abuse is real and perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Sometimes victims protect their abuser, normalizing the abuse and having an inability to recognize the seriousness of their own situation. If you see or experience something that doesn’t feel right to you, seek help as soon as you can.
How can we help?
If you or someone you know is or has been the victim of violence, there are safe, confidential and free services available in our community to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For immediate assistance, call 911 or contact the Kelowna Crisis Line at 1.888.353.2273 (1.888.353.CARE)
Confidential assistance is also provided through the City of Kelowna Victim Services 250.470.6242
For information around WorkBC programming available to help victims of violence with employment and counselling, contact: 778.478.8390 (ask for Sadie)