Groups working together much more cooperatively than in the past
© Guardian photo
Candles are lit during a memorial service held in Charlottetown for victims of violence Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.
RCMP Supt. Joanne Crampton has seen many women damaged by their partners.
On Friday, at a memorial service held in Charlottetown for victims of violence, her thoughts went out to being able to be a part of the help that comes after the hurt.
“I guess what comes to mind is some of the calls I’ve attended, some of the people I’ve managed to help and made a difference or hopefully made a difference for them,’’ she says.
“I got them the assistance they needed through the various organizations that are there to assist.’’
Crampton, a criminal operations officer for P.E.I., was one of many people representing different organizations or political office to light a candle at the service held in the Memorial Hall of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Services were also held in Summerside, O’Leary and across Canada to mark the anniversary of the 1989 slaying of 14 women at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal.
At the Charlottetown service, a candle was lit for each of those 14 women as well as one each for the nine women murdered on P.E.I. since 1989 by men who knew them.
Candles were also lit for all missing and murdered women, for all those injured or killed as a result of violence directed at a woman, all women who have experienced rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse and one candle for all women who live in fear of violence.
Crampton told The Guardian following the service that enhanced cooperation between organizations is the greatest improvement in addressing domestic violence that she has witnessed over her 25 years of policing.
“Years ago in different communities that I policed, I found we seemed to be working in silos,’’ she says.
“Something I find here in P.E.I. is we’ve got some great networking and relationships here and we can work together to create resolve from all different angles, not just from a policing angle or a justice angle but actually providing the assistance and the caring that these victims need.’’
Crampton believes all the needed services and resources exist in P.E.I. to allow women to emerge safely and successfully from the shadows of an abusive relationship.
“I believe we have all the tools,’’ she says.
“It’s a matter of the women being confident to believe in the system.’’
Some, though, see room for improvement in at least one area that is seen to have a direct impact on domestic violence.
People attending the service were encouraged to petition Prime Minister Stephen Harper to close a loophole that allows dealers and individuals to sell guns without verifying the validity of the buy’s licence.
“This loophole is known to have allowed violent spouses whose licence was revoked to acquire guns in the past,’’ states the post card petiton.
The petition also calls on Harper to give police a mechanism to trace guns so that prohibition orders against abusive partners can be properly enforced.