As a member of the Halton Violence Prevention Council, the Halton Social Planning Council believes it is important to make our community aware of the complexities surrounding issues of violence as it affects all individuals living in Halton. For these reasons we have dedicated this Community Dispatch to this concern.
Violence can be defined as the use of power control and oppression of others. Abuse is a power imbalance between the victim and offender. Abuse may take the following forms: physical, sexual, emotional, social, financial, spiritual, threats, stalking and harassment.
Violent behaviour in our society has become so commonplace and acceptable that it is looked upon as normal. The destructiveness of its effects are often overlooked. Violent behaviour affects all members of our society. Women and children tend to be more frequently victimized. One key to eradicating violence is to name the problem. Violence is a learned behaviour. We believe that it can be unlearned.
Sources: Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women (1993) and Sexual Offences Against Children, C. Bradgley (1984).
When coupled with other forms of violence such as: elder abuse, sexual abuse, ritual abuse, racism, violent crimes and bullying, the costs of violence are staggering
There is no "typical" reaction to being assaulted or abused. Immediate reactions to violence are: shock, disbelief, confusion, fear, anxiety, nervousness, embarrassment, shame, disgust, guilt, self-blame, self-hatred, anger, betrayal, frustration, sadness, loss, depression, powerlessness, vulnerability, helplessness and hopelessness.
In Halton elder abuse occurs daily. And it is usually by members of their own families, friends or care givers.
Violent crime reported to police in Canada has increased fourfold over the past 3 decades. Despite this increase, many violent crimes are not reported:
We live in a violent society in which there is a continuum of non-violent to violent behaviour. "Power over" structure of society perpetuates violence.
Source: Shades of Grey, Health Department, Regional Municipality of Peel (1997).
It is imperative to understand the enormity and vastness of the problem of violence. In our society, the solution lies in developing a regional strategy in which violence is seen and understood and action is taken toward creating a climate in which zero tolerance of violent behaviour is the norm. Many agencies and community leaders are involved on the Halton Violence Prevention Council (HVPC). Our goal is to eradicate violence.
Burlington Counselling & Family Services, Children's Assessment & Treatment Centre, Halton Catholic District School Board, Halton District School Board, Halton Children's Aid Society, Halton Crown Attorney, Halton Family Services, Halton Social & Community Services & Health Department, Halton Multicultural Council, Halton Rape Crisis Centre, Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre, Halton Women's Place, North Halton Cultural Awareness Council, R.C.M.P, Women's Information & Support Centre, Women Survivors Advisory Committee
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