Are you facing intimate partner violence? Here are some resources in N.L. that can help
This story is part of Stopping Domestic Violence, a CBC News series looking at the crisis of intimate partner violence in Canada and what can be done to end it.
There are resources available to those experiencing intimate partner violence, who need assistance escaping their situations and getting to a safer place.
Here are some of those resources in Newfoundland and Labrador.
RNC initiatives and programs
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has an intimate partner violence unit, specifically created to provide "an enhanced coordinated and consistent response to this specific and dynamic violence."
According to the RNC, the unit consists of two police officers and a crime analyst that work toward the prevention of violence.
Among the programs offered through the RNC's intimate partner violence unit:
- Pet Safekeeping Program
This program aims to provide emergency shelter for pets belonging to victims of intimate partner violence. It helps reduce barriers for people who are leaving violent relationships. According to the RNC, many victims will delay leaving out of concern for their pets. The program is a partnership between the RNC, Iris Kirby House, and the City of John's (Humane Services) and currently exists in St. John's and Corner Brook. The RNC says it is working with community partners in Labrador City and Mount Pearl to start similar programs.
- Lock Exchange Program
The lock exchange program is a collaboration between the RNC and the Canadian Federation of University Women. It sees the installation of replacement locks for women who need to have door locks replaced due to fear of intimate partner violence. The RNC in Labrador West is in the process of collaborating with IOCC, who will be funding this initiative in Labrador City.
- Cellphone Program
The RNC provides cellphones with pre-paid minutes to victims of intimate partner violence who have had their phone damaged or stolen, or are in need of one. It gives them a way to contact police should the need arise, and keep in touch with family and friends to ensure safety.
RCMP has dedicated unit
According to the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Justice and Public Safety, the RCMP also has a dedicated unit which provides guidance and oversight on intimate partner violence investigations.
It also supports front-line police officers conducting such investigations. The unit gathers and analyzes relevant data from RCMP calls for service and crime prevention/community policing initiatives which is used to identify emerging crime trends, identify repeat offenders in the area of relationship violence, and to ensure policing measures are evolving to address all aspects of this type of crime.
N.L. victims of violence policy
Victims of violence who meet the income threshold for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing are given special priority during the rental application, transfer, or special maintenance request processes (i.e. lock change).
This includes those who have been victims of family violence, and people who have been exploited either through human trafficking, sex work, or both.
Applicants are assigned a social worker to help them through the process, answer their questions and can refer them to any counselling they may require. All applications are kept confidential.
For more information or assistance, click here.
Transition houses in N.L.
There are a number of shelters in the province that provide a safe place for those seeking refuge from violence.
Their mission: "To ensure that women and their children have access to safety, security, services, and advocacy to support them in their communities and homes in moving toward a life free from abuse," according to the Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
For a list of crisis numbers for shelters across Newfoundland and Labrador, you can go here.
If you need help and are in immediate danger, call 911. To find assistance in your area click here.