In recent weeks Peel police have posted messages on Twitter in the hopes of letting women in its region know that resources exist to help victims of domestic violence.
To mark the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Peel police put out a twitter message with links to safety tips and a photo.
“Violence in Peel knows no cultural barriers. Stand up against gender-based violence, wear the orange ribbon,” reads the tweet.
Const. Danny Marttini, spokesperson for Peel police, said on Sunday that police are trying to get the message out because of the number and severity of domestic violence incidents in Peel Region.
They also released a video which showed some alarming statistics.
In 2017, of the more than 2,000 domestic violence occurrences where charges were laid in Peel Region, 86 per cent involved a female victim and a male accused.
Of the 21 homicides from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2018 in Peel Region, 21 per cent involved a domestic partner.
Domestic violence represents 15 per cent of all citizen-initiated calls to Peel police.
Marttini said police hope the message is being received, but as of late Sunday afternoon, it had received very little feedback.
In the video, Kamal Dhillon: A Story of Survival, Dhillon says she was abused by her husband for more than 12 years. Dhillon, a mother and grandmother from B.C., says she came to Peel Region to tell her story.
Dhillon says she survived all kinds of abuse, including attempted murder, torture and broken bones.
“A lot of us victims are told not to report the crime, not to bring dishonour to the family, and not to trust the police, the social workers, the workers,” Dhillon says.
“But I want you to know that the police are not the enemy. The enemy is the one that is living with you, that is telling you not to report, to keep his crime a secret,” she adds.
Dhillon says of police: “They are here with resources. They are the good guys and they will help you.”
According to the UN, the day and days of activism aim to support women and girls around the world in a movement of solidarity against power imbalances, in which it says sexual violence is deeply rooted.
It is really important that the message gets to vulnerable women who may be feeling trapped and powerless because they don’t know how to navigate the system and seek out the help that exists for them.
While domestic issue doesn’t have cultural boundaries, there is a fair amount of it going on under the radar in South Asian communities and cultural and language barriers are often the reason perpetrators of such atrocities are able to strike again and again. -CINEWS