Chilliwack – Law enforcement plays a crucial role in supporting victims/survivors of sexual and relationship and gender based violence. As first responders, these officials are uniquely positioned to assist victims/survivors following victimization by addressing immediate concerns that threaten safety and connecting them to appropriate care and resources.
Women only report 10% of domestic violence incidents, gender based violence and sexual assaults are vastly under reported and we are doing something about this in our community.
On December 1st, Ann Davis Transition Society (ADTS) in partnership with the RCMP Domestic Violence Unit, Wilma House, Pearl Renewal Society and Sto:lo Women opened a project in Chilliwack called the Willow Room, a safe and supported place for women and children to report domestic violence, sexual or gender based violence to the RCMP. This will have a Crisis Worker for support in a trauma informed, culturally sensitive and supported environment at Ann Davis Transition Society Admin office at 9046 Young Rd. and open 24/7.
By calling the RCMP and asking for this service or by calling 604-792-3116 or one of the named partners to report with you, you or anyone you know can access this service that will provide a trauma informed and timely response, with increased sensitivity, access to knowledge and connection to resources, and offering appropriate follow up that can begin to redefine how we help women report. Working with Trauma-informed response and interview techniques is necessary to creating a trauma-informed reporting room and fostering trust in the community. The room is set up to be culturally welcoming and a truly safe place to report for all women. Kathleen Mosa, Executive Director, Wilma House shares that, “Having a safe trauma informed space for women to report in our community is vital for their wellbeing”.
“The responding officer’s awareness of the needs of victims/survivors], the many dimensions and consequences of crime for victims, common responses to victimization, and the particular needs of distinct victim populations can help the officer avoid a revictimization of victims. Patti MacAhonic, Executive Director of ADTS stated that, “A victim’s/survivor’s disclosure of a traumatic event has the potential to be an affirming or retraumatizing experience. The Willow room partners that work extensively with women want to ensure that women are heard, supported and not further victimized and this is why this important project has been put in place.