The COVID19 pandemic has been hard on everyone and its taken a toll on relationships.

In fact, calls to one domestic violence hotline increased by 400 percent in the first two months of the pandemic, however, the number of incidents in the North Cowichan/Duncan jurisdiction has decreased.

RCMP Corporal Cari Lougheed said first responders are here to help.

“The RCMP is acutely aware that the COVID19 pandemic is especially difficult for those experiencing intimate partner violence. We want victims and survivors to know that it’s not their fault and that they’re not alone, first responders are here to keep everyone safe 24/7, even during the pandemic,” said Lougheed.

“It’s important that everyone out there knows that if they know someone who is in immediate danger, that they call 9-1-1,” said Lougheed.

RCMP Inspector Chris Bear said, via email, that the total family violence files decreased by 30 cases from March 15-June 15, 2020 (2019: 315, 2020: 275).

Lougheed said anyone who is in an abusive relationship needs to have a safety plan in place.

“There’s Victim Services, shelters, cultural and community health centres, Indigenous Friendship Centres, and other community centres for support,” said Lougheed. “Within the safety plans, we incorporate access to these things, having their cellphones charged, having a safe place to go, having a bag packed and ready to go in the event that an incident happens and they need to leave quickly.”

Lougheed said intimate partner violence cases decreased from 25 in March of last year to 22 this year, and in April of this year there were 27 cases, compared to last April, when there were 20.

March 15 – June 15th
Break and Enter – Commercial:   2019 – 59
2020 – 49

Break and Enter – Residential:   2019 – 36
2020 – 28

Break and Enter – Other:             2019 – 23
2020 – 22

Total Family Violence Files:       2019 – 315
2020 – 275

Domestic Dispute – Assault:       2019 – 70
2020 – 52

Domestic Dispute – No Assault: 2019 – 102
2020 – 98