(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / lucidwaters)(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / lucidwaters)

'Snapshot' highlights domestic violence in Grey-Bruce

Violence Prevention Grey Bruce has released the first "snapshot" of its kind on local domestic and sexual violence in a bid to raise awareness of the problem.

Coordinator Jon Farmer said the data was collected over a period of 181 days from January to June 2018 with the help of 15 partner organizations. It showed police received nearly two calls a day for reports of domestic violence, and crisis centres fielded nearly 26 calls a day.

Farmer said if we don't know what's happening in our communities, then we can't respond to the problems and the causes of those problems.

"Gendered violence has a huge impact across Ontario, Canada and the world," he said. "And if we don't recognize that it impacts our communities here in Grey-Bruce then we can't begin to address the problem."

Farmer said we need to start having conversations about where violence is coming from in relationships and what we can do to prevent it.

Poverty is one of the factors that can contribute to domestic violence and Farmer said housing shortages and difficulty making ends meet can often leave people feeling trapped.

What's worse, domestic violence often becomes a cycle. Farmer said almost 20 per cent of the families receiving ongoing care from Child and Family Services during the data collection period were cases resulting from domestic violence.

"The kids in those families are then growing up with more instability and exposure to violence," he said. "Statistically, the likelihood of them then receiving or perpetrating violence goes up."

Farmer can't say for sure if rates of domestic violence are on the rise, but the need for service is,  in the wake the of the "Me Too" movement with more people reaching out to crisis and counselling centres.

Snapshot 2018 Grey Bruce[21893]

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