Saskatchewan

Hearts in Regina park highlight 'staggering' cost of family violence

Giant red hearts are being placed in Regina's Victoria Park today to highlight those who have suffered from family violence.

Saskatchewan the highest rate of family violence incidences in Canada, double the national rate

Hearts hang in Regina's Victoria Park to highlight family violence in the province. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Giant red hearts are being placed in Regina's Victoria Park today to underscore how many people have suffered family violence.

The event, Hearts in the Park, comes on the heels of a study done by The Circle Project Association, a Regina agency that provides family violence and alcohol and drug counseling. The research determined the cost of a single family violence incident.

Hearts in the Park event at Regina's Victoria Park will be on display for two weeks. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Here is the scenario used in the study:

  • A man beats his spouse to the point that she requires hospitalization for 14 days. 
  • One of their three children also requires medical care and hospitalization. 
  • The other children are placed in the care of social services.

According to The Circle Project, the financial cost is in excess of $100,000. The study took into account the cost for "police, hospitalization, court costs, lost wages, child care needs and housing loss".

Saskatchewan has the highest rate of family violence incidences in Canada. It is more than double the national rate, according to a 2011 study.

Ann Perry, executive director of The Circle Project, said she is not surprised that the cost of domestic violence is so staggering.

"We see the consequences in our community every day," Perry said in a news release. "We had 167 participants in our program last year and 225 this year. If we are successful in even half of our interventions, we've saved the system millions of dollars."

A Regina police officer hangs a red heart in Victoria Park to highlight the issue of family violence. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

People passing the hearts in Victoria Park are invited to write on them if they know someone who has been a victim of family violence. They will be on display for two weeks.

The Circle Project, Sofia House, University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing, and the Regina Police Service were all involved in the hearts in the park event.

Clarifications

  • A previous version of this story said the study was done by a University of Saskatchewan student. In fact, the study, which the student contributed to, was done by The Circle Project.
    Jun 02, 2016 9:58 PM CT

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