Domestic Violence – Evaluating Our Community's Response

Police, courts and service agencies dedicate an abundance of human resources to responding to domestic violence, yet community resources often cannot meet the demand for services.

Women are more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe forms of spousal assault, as well as spousal homicide, sexual assault and stalking. A victim'’s decision to report these types of crimes of violence depend on a number of factors which include fear of the offender, shame and embarrassment, and availability of services. Shelter statistics in Canada indicate that as many as 200 women on a single day can be turned away as there is not enough space available.

Several contributing factors, such as poverty, lack of affordable housing and limited job skills result in women staying with their abusers in spite of the danger which they and their children may face.

Speaker: Debbie Middleton-Hope

Two years ago, Debbie Middleton-Hope retired as an Inspector from the Calgary Police Service after 25 years of service. During her career, she worked in a variety of areas but focused most of her attention working in the crimes against persons speciality units, such as child abuse, serious habitual offenders, robbery and prostitution.

After retiring, Debbie moved to Lethbridge and for the last year has worked with the Domestic Violence Action Team and the Sexual Violence Action Committee, completing a one year project on evaluating the services for domestic and sexual violence response within the community.

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