Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

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Calls to Police for Domestic Violence

The Niagara Regional Police Service 2013 Annual Report includes the following statistics:

Family Violence: Reported Incidents 2013

Domestic related Calls for Service 9,543
Domestic related Reports 7,241
Non CCJS 5,669
Criminal Investigations 1,572
Criminal Investigations – Charges 1,062
Criminal Investigations – No Charges 510

Source: NRPS
Retrieved Fromhttp://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/niagara-regional-police-services-2013-annual-report/

Child Abuse

FACS Niagara is mandated by the Ontario Child and Family Services Act to investigate the abuse and neglect of children and to provide protection, foster care and adoption services. FACS offers a wide range of programs to prevent and treat the problems of abuse and neglect and to support the children, youth and families of Niagara. FACS has offices in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls.

At its September, 2014 annual meeting, FACS Niagara reported that its caseload is growing and the cases are more complex and costly to investigate. Reasons cited for the rising number of cases include: community-wide social changes; high unemployment which is connected to increases in the need for mental health services (which are also under pressure), and family stresses.

The FACS Niagara 2013-2014 Annual Report includes the following information:

Our data tells us that while community needs are rising, we are successfully supporting families in keeping their children safely at home. Of the 3.5% of children that do come into care, 75% return home in less than 3 months. The vast majority of our work is done with families where children remain in the care of their parents.

Service to Families:

  • Number of Families Served on the Rise
  • Number of Children in Care Stable at 3.5%
  • 9,070 children received child protection services in 2013-2014, up from nearly 8, 000 in 2012-13
  • 568 children in care (monthly average), consistent with 2012-13
  • 950 families received ongoing child protection services each month, up from 890 in 2012-13
  • 5,386 referrals resulted in 3,351 investigations, up from 3,081 investigations in 2012-13
  • 96% of children remained in the care of their families
  • 75% of children in care return to the care of their parents or extended family in less than 3 months

Source: FACS Niagara
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/family-and-childrens-services-niagara-2013-2014-annual-report/

Kristen French Child Abuse Advocacy Centre is a safe place to tell your secrets for children and youth who have been physically abused, sexually abused, become the targets of internet luring or were the witness of violence. Opened in 2008, the Centre serves Niagara’s 12 municipalities, helping children and families cope with the life altering impact of child abuse. Kristen French CACN’s partners are Niagara Regional Police Service, FACS Niagara, Family Counselling Centre Niagara and medical professionals.

Source: Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/child-advocacy-centre-niagara/

Coalition to End Violence Against Women Domestic Violence Report Card

The CEVAW (Coalition to End Violence Against Women) issued its second (2011/2012) Domestic Violence Report Card in 2013. CEVAW’s mandate is to raise public awareness, share information, bring down systemic barriers that perpetuate violence, and add value to their work through collaboration.

Source: CEVAW
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/the-niagara-region-domestic-violence-report-card-20112012-the-system-matters/

A Supplementary Report, building on data collected for CEVAW for the 2011-2012 Report Card highlights three additional themes that have emerged since the initial report card, based on data collection that ended in 2009, was written. They include; the impact of the economic slowdown, changes to Legal Aid, and innovations in practice.

Source: CEVAW
Retrieved From: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/resources-publications/the-niagara-region-domestic-violence-report-card-supplementary-report/

Related to the above, CEVAW members outlined the following points during the research phase of building the Living in Niagara-2014 report:

  • As living in poverty reduces options for victims of domestic violence, CEVAW members are actively involved in supporting the Niagara Prosperity Initiative (NPI), which focuses on alleviating the root causes of poverty, through a collaborative, neighbourhood-based approach based on research; and the collaborative work of over 30 Niagara agencies through the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network, to engage the broader community in taking action to address poverty in the Niagara context.
  • Women’s Place of South Niagara (Nova House and Serenity Place), and Gillian’s Place in St. Catharines are slated to begin fiscal year 2014/15 in the 5th year of a provincial government funding freeze.
  • With the combination of increasing demand for services, flattened government funding, and the economic realities of Niagara, it is challenging to fundraise enough to be able to provide for higher numbers of women fleeing domestic violence. In addition to this, the lack of affordable and suitable housing makes it difficult for agencies to help stabilize clients.
  • FACS (Family and Childrens Services) Niagara has a working relationship with the Violence Against Women shelters in Niagara, which includes a Gillian’s Place Domestic Violence Advocate working out of the St. Catharines FACS office and Women’s Place of South Niagara having a Domestic Violence Advocate that works out of the Niagara Falls and Welland FACS offices. Funding is provided by the provincial Ministry of Child and Youth Services.

Source: Coalition to End Violence Against Women www.cevaw.com
Retrieved From: Not available online

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