Domestic and Sexual Violence Protocol Updated
On Thursday June 21, Violence Prevention Grey Bruce launched an updated community response protocol to sexual and domestic violence in Grey and Bruce counties. The protocol lays out the responsibilities of service providers and agencies responding to sexual and domestic violence in Grey and Bruce and is launching online for the first time this year.
Domestic and sexual violence are important and complicated issues. In a large rural area like Grey and Bruce where there are multiple and over lapping services and response agencies, it can be difficult for the public and service providers to know who should be involved in response to incidents of domestic or sexual violence. This protocol is designed to make the response process clear and to ensure that every survivor of violence is offered as much support as possible.
Thursday’s protocol launch is the latest in a decades long effort to better coordinate local services. Grey and Bruce counties were one of the first communities in Ontario to develop a formal Police Shelter Working Agreement to address domestic violence in the early 1990s. In 2006, those working agreements were formalized into the Community Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Protocol for Grey and Bruce counties. In 2011, the protocol was updated and transformed into a pamphlet reference guide. This year’s update is the result of extensive consultation with member agencies. It is now hosted online at vpgb.ca/protocol and includes a 3-step checklist to identify the appropriate supports for people in need.
“Hosting the protocol online means that it can be accessed by anyone anytime,” said protocol committee member and retired Saugeen Shores Police Chief Dave Preston. “It’s important for these resources to be available online to make it as easy as possible for police and community service providers to collaborate. This website is a lot easier to access and more convenient than a binder on a shelf”.
Violence Prevention Grey Bruce Coordinator Jon Farmer demonstrated the new website and distributed posters and stickers to member agencies at the launch. Violence Prevention Grey Bruce members will participate in organization-specific protocol orientations throughout the fall. For more information and to see the protocol yourself, visit www.vpgb.ca.