Hamilton declares intimate partner violence an epidemic

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Published August 22, 2023 at 8:45 pm

Following extensive deliberations, the Hamilton council unanimously voted on Aug. 18 to declare intimate partner violence, as an epidemic.

Hamilton joined the list of more than 30 other Ontario municipalities including Brampton and Oakville by officially recognizing the existence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence (DV) as a growing concern.

Coun.Nrinder Nann brought the final motion to the General Issues Committee meeting on Aug. 14 where members of WAWG (Woman Abuse Working Group) presented compelling statistics related to IPV and DV incidents within Hamilton.

According to Thea Symonds, WAWG project coordinator, Hamilton police responded to 12,514 domestic violence or intimate partner violence calls in 2022. Non-police violence against women (VAW) crisis support lines within the city also recorded an alarming 7,660 calls.

Highlighting the pressing nature of the issue,  Coun. Nrinder Nann stated, “thousands of our neighbours across the city, including in rural areas, are experiencing gender-based and intimate partner violence on a monthly basis in Hamilton.”

This decision by the council aims to provide necessary resources to non-profit organizations and local authorities to combat this issue and support to survivors and those affected by gender-based violence.

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