Cowichan workshop addresses relationship violence

Duncan has the highest rates per capita of relationship violence in British Columbia.

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is working to address this crisis with their second annual Together Against Violence community workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

From 8 a.m. to noon at Duncan United Church, attendees will look at a wide variety of topics including introducing local coordinated responses to reducing relationship violence, healing attitudes towards women in abusive relationships, healing attitudes towards men who use violence and how to become more than a bystander.

"This is an opportunity for community members to talk about how the Cowichan

Valley, a community who proudly embraces inclusivity, diversity, and social justice, can work together for a safe community for all," said Kendra Thomas of CWAV in a news release. "In the first nine months of 2014 British Columbia stood witness to a brutal outbreak of domestic violence murders, attempted murders and suicides that left 20 people dead – 13 women, six men, one child, another 11 seriously injured."

Duncan, she said, is in the middle of the storm. In the first nine months of 2013 North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reported receiving 700 domestic violence calls.

"Families are struggling with the impact of spousal assault and removal of children into foster care because of relationship violence," she said.

"Children, moms, dads, and partners in abusive relationships need us to come together as the strong, healthy, vibrant community we are to create lasting safety for all." Those interested in attending should RSVP by Nov. 20 to cwav@cwav.org or call 250-748-7000.