An uptick in intimate partner violence in Kelowna is likely an impact of economic factors and a return to normal post-pandemic, according to the city’s top RCMP officer.
In delivering Q1 statistics to council Monday (June 19), Supt. Kara Triance said that reported incidents were up 18 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. She added RCMP continues to work with Elizabeth Fry to address inter-personal violence.
“We’re moving forward with a trauma-informed approach which is extremely important in working with victims of violence. I’m proud of my teams who have made this training their focus.”
Triance said the Kelowna Intimate Partner Violence Team is fully staffed and works with community services on a daily basis, focusing on the highest-risk cases.
“They get into the technical component of this crime where they’re trained as special investigators and they spend time training our frontline staff wherever possible.”
Triance said she was also pleased to see the first report on the city’s community safety plan presented to council.
“There’s a lot of work upstream happening in this plan…which really include a focus on intimate partner violence, through those witnessing and experiencing violence, trauma and poverty and engagement with those individuals at the earliest possible time.”
She added resources are also available at VictimLinkBC.
According to Statistics Canada, there were 127,082 victims of police-reported family violence (committed by spouses, parents, children, siblings and extended family members) in 2021, the fifth consecutive year of increase.
Women and girls represented two-thirds (69%) of family violence victims.