The new Anti-Violence counsellor in Ashcroft, Kelsey Grimm of Interior Community Services (ICS), wants to raise awareness about violence ahead of the provincial “Violence in Relationships” Awareness Week, which takes place from April 11–15.
“We’re working on creating an event for that week,” she says, noting that ICS collaborates with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Their goal is to work towards a violence-free community, and Grimm says her role is to fill in the gaps that exist. She works with the MCFD and goes into schools, looking to see where the need is.
The event being planned for Violence in Relationships week will bring together ICS, the MCFD, the Elizabeth Fry Society, the hospital, and the RCMP, and Grimm is trying to connect with the local First Nations. “Our goal is to have a collaborative approach. That’s when we’re strongest.” She wants people to be able to find out what’s available in the community and create awareness about violence. “When the community becomes more involved in the issue of violence we can offer more to support people.”
Grimm notes that domestic violence is more prevalent in rural than in urban communities, and that it is not just a domestic issue; it affects the whole community. “The intricacies of rural living, including geographic isolation and service limitations, make it complicated to challenge norms and create a new violence-free reality.”
To contact Grimm, either to find out more about the upcoming event or to speak to her in confidence, call (250) 315-9984.