Submitted by Revelstoke Women’s Shelter
The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society has released a magazine to increase understanding around the confusing nature of abuse.
“While not everyone utilises our services, everyone is vulnerable to abuse,” magazine editor and shelter worker Emily Kemp said.
“We’re hoping that in making knowledge more widespread, we can give people the tools to recognise and deal with it.”
Uplift Magazine: Healthy Relationships Revelstoke is a pilot project and part of the restart for the women’s shelter since the pandemic lockdown.
The first edition features renowned Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula on the epidemic of narcissism, it chats to Revelstoke’s Victim Services team, and includes insights from women who have stayed at the shelter. The magazine aims to reduce self-flagellation for those who have fallen in love or otherwise become tied to someone abusive. It does this through detailing abusive tactics and potential underlying mental health issues that lead people to abuse.
While the pandemic brought a slower pace of life for Revelstoke, abuse is something that flourishes in silence. “People seemed to not have the same everyday pressures,” Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society executive director Lynn Loeppky said about the lockdown.
“But abuse is often hidden and like the hospitals, people may have been less likely to reach out due to fear of the virus or they were in an environment with more surveillance.”
What did increase during the lockdown were overdose deaths in the province. Overdose deaths were consistently around 70 to 80 for the past year but jumped by 37 in March to 113. April recorded 118 deaths and May, 170. May was the highest month in the opioid crisis, which peaked in 2018. Majority of deaths are male.
In a top 15 list, the B.C. Coroners Service listed Revelstoke as an area with one of the highest rates of overdose deaths in the province (compared to its population) with nine deaths between 2018 and 2019. This makes it nearly on par with Vancouver. Arrow Lakes, the area around Nakusp, also made the list. It does not go into detail on the number of deaths recently.
When combined with substance use and addiction, domestic violence can quickly escalate. When someone is under the influence, they are likely to lose control of their inhibitions and this increases the chances of abusive behaviour.
Abuse is often misunderstood, which is why the magazine has been released.
“We want people to see that abuse is multi-faceted,” Kemp said.
Copies of the magazine will be distributed around town where possible and online.
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