In 2008, the Comox Valley RCMP established the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU).
It was one of the first detachments on the Island to initiate a dedicated, full-time section. Its primary objective is to support front-line policing, specifically in relation to violence in relationship investigations.
Between June and September 2015, the Comox Valley RCMP detachment responded to 169 domestic violence-related calls for service. In these investigations, RCMP members adhere to strict guidelines based on divisional and national policy. Required investigation and follow-ups can be very taxing on the general duty section. As such, having a dedicated section allows for a more detailed and personal approach to a very sensitive and emotional time for the victims of domestic violence.
The DVU has developed close partnerships within the Comox Valley to ensure that the victims and families have the best support network available. Working closely with community and police-based victim services, the Comox Valley Transition Society and even Adult Probation ensures support on all levels.
Another vital role of the Domestic Violence Unit is to work as a partner within the Integrated Case Assessment Team (ICAT). This team is activated in response to the highest risk domestic situations. ICAT comprises representatives from Adult Probation, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Transition Society, women’s shelter as well as community and police-based Victim Services.
These meetings allow for the exchange of pertinent information as well as an orchestrated response. The focus is not only on the victim but also on the children who witness violence in the home, in addition to the offender and their management.
In 2002, the Hadley Inquest Jury recommendation stated “Domestic violence is a crime that is different from other crimes in two ways: the likelihood of repeat violence is common and at most times predictable; and the victim is known in advance”.
Domestic violence is a priority for the RCMP at all levels and will remain so for the foreseeable future. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or know someone that can use these services, contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.