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NewsIntimate partner violence declared an epidemic in Lanark County

Intimate partner violence declared an epidemic in Lanark County

In a historic move, Lanark County Council became the first county in Ontario to declare Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) an epidemic in accordance with the Culleton, Kuzyk and Warmerdam Inquest’s jury recommendations.

The resolution was formally passed at the County Council meeting on December 14.

The five-person jury presented 86 recommendations as a result of the inquest, which took place in June of this year. The first recommendation is for the province to formally declare IPV as an epidemic. “We have to see it, name it, change it. This is the naming part, that’s the easy part. the hard part is changing it,” Warden Peter McLaren said at the meeting on December 14. “that’s what we really have to start focusing on, and that’s for everybody.”

Representatives from Interval House, Lanark County, the OPP Inspector, and Rideau Health.

“We can’t understate the fact that Lanark County is the first to make a move on IPV in Ontario,” said Lanark County Interval House’s Executive Director Erin Lee. “We should be incredibly proud of our community for making this happen and, of course, of our Council for listening and taking steps toward change. The county is already doing the work.” Speaking at the recent What Now Lanark County Event, activist and witness in the Inquest Julie S. Lalonde emphasised that rural communities are the ones putting in the work and making tangible change to end violence and implored urban centres across the province to participate.

Lanark County Interval House hopes that neighbouring communities across Ontario will  start to implement Recommendation #1. “The best show of support for the victims of violence is for this declaration to be made,” Lee said. “52 women in 52 weeks were taken by femicide in Ontario. This is, frankly, overdue.”

Lanark County Interval House has been sharing and explaining an inquest recommendation each week on their social media to engage the community, the information is also available on Lake 88’s website under the ‘Local News’ heading (https://lanarkleedstoday.ca/ckw-inquest-recommendations/). The agency relaunched its ‘See It, Name It, Change It’ campaign in September hoping that it will help community members be as familiar with what to do when they see violence as they are with stop, drop and roll when there is a fire. Interval House hopes that with the community onside to change violence, inquests into gender-based violence and femicides will be a thing of the past.

submitted by Lanark County Interval House

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