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Intimate Partner Violence Recognized as a Major Global Public Health Concern

A total of 127,082 Canadians have been affected by intimate partner violence.

PORT HOPE, ON (November 21, 2023) – The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is committed to raising awareness around Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), also known as domestic or family violence, and sharing available community services that support those affected. 

“Anyone can be impacted by Intimate Partner Violence regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status or educational background,” said Joanne Brewster, Health Promoter at the HKPR District Health Unit. “IPV is a complex issue, affecting individuals in various types of relationships, be it dating, marriage, or common-law partnerships; including after a relationship has ended. There are community supports that offer compassionate care, understanding, and guidance to support those affected by IPV.” 

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies IPV as a major global public health concern, as it affects millions of people and can result in immediate and long-lasting health, social and economic consequences. Intimate Partner Violence can occur in both public and private places, and can encompass a wide range of violent behaviors such as:

  • Physical, sexual, financial, spiritual, emotional, and psychological violence
  • Harassment (stalking)
  • Sexual violence
  • Reproductive coercion
  • Forcible control
  • Technology-facilitated violence (cyberviolence) 

"Our dedication to creating a community that places safety, respect, and equality in relationships at the forefront remains unwavering,” said Nancy Johnston, Executive Director of Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre. “We firmly believe that everyone deserves to live free from the threat of violence and abuse. In collaboration with the community, we actively promote vigilance against Intimate Partner Violence and the recognition of its warning signs. It's not just about pinpointing the issue; it's about acting and offering a helping hand to those in need. No one should feel alone in their struggle, and support is readily accessible." 

In 2022, Statistics Canada released that police-reported family violence has seen a troubling rise for the fifth consecutive year. Reporting that a total of 127,082 victims in Canada were affected by such violence, encompassing acts committed by spouses, parents, children, siblings, and extended family members. These statistics translate to a rate of 336 victims per 100,000 population. These numbers underscore the pressing need for continued efforts in addressing and preventing Intimate Partner Violence within our communities.

Intimate Partner Violence Support Services For those seeking care and guidance around IPV there are several organizations and services available, including: 
 

“Fostering a community that prioritizes safety, respect, and equity in relationships is of paramount importance”, said Dorothea Service, Healthy Families Manager with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Be aware of the signs and extend support to those who may be experiencing intimate partner violence, family or domestic violence. Help is available and ensuring that everyone has the right to feel safe and secure is our shared goal.”

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Media Contacts
Ashley Beaulac, Manager of Communication Services, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1212, abeaulac@hkpr.on.ca or Dorothea Service, Harm Reduction Manager, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577 ext. 2227

About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at hkpr.on.ca.

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