There are isolated reports of increased violence, both physical and verbal, as a result of increased isolation during the pandemic.
Increased violence in Campbell River
In Campbell River, RCMP Cst Maury Tyre reports, “We are seeing a lot of escalation in basic disagreements due to the level of language that people are using causing greater and greater offence to others. Then simply put, people who are on edge just aren’t able to walk away. In some cases we are seeing arguments occur over minor traffic events or the behaviour of someone else’s pet. None of these events should have escalated to violence.”
“Police attended multiple fights during the afternoon on April 17th, 2021. Unlike most instances of violence that the police attend, drugs and alcohol were not involved in these incidents at all.”
“Maybe it’s the fact that people have been spending more time behind their keyboards during the pandemic and they can get away with saying whatever they want without any real repercussions,”
“A reminder to the public, even if you find yourself in a consensual physical altercation, you can still be criminally charged for Causing a Disturbance or worse if someone is severely injured.”
Violence against women
It has been a year since Diane Palmer, of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society told the National Observer that historically, violence against women increases when there is widespread societal distress.
“We were already noticing it back in last May. I’d say it’s pretty consistent that there’s now three to four times the amount of calls that we were getting before. And aside from relationship crisis we are also getting people trying to deal with mental health issues, Covid stress.”
She believes the number of incidents would probably drop as much as 80%, if Cortes were not also dealing with a rental crisis.
According to a report from Statistics Canada, almost a third of all police-reported violence happens between intimate partners.
While women were more often the victims, there were also a significant number of male victims.
In 2018, there was more violence in boyfriend-girlfriend situations than marriages. A large percentage of these cases involved former boyfriends or girlfriends
“Women in rural areas experienced the highest overall rates of intimate partner violence, with rates close to four times higher than those for men in these areas.”
Recent COVID 19 stats
Meanwhile, while there appears to be a current dip in the numbers both throughout BC and on Vancouver Island, there are no signs that the pandemic is going away.
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) statistics for the epi-weeks in local Health Areas, released yesterday, shows active COVID cases in all four areas of North Vancouver Island during the week ending on Saturday April 17th. There were 18 in Comox Valley, 11 in Greater Campbell River, 6 in Vancouver Island North and 2 in Vancouver Island West.
BCCDC statistics show that 63% of the 403 active cases in Island Health on April 20th were variants:
- 135 cases (+33% of total) were the “Brazil variant” (Variant p.1)
- 113 cases (28%) were the “UK variant” (Variant B.1.1.7)
- 5 cases (+1%) were the “South African variant” (Variant B.1.251)
Links of Interest
- (Red Cross) Unseen, unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters
- (Stats Canada) Police-reported intimate partner violence in Canada, 2018
- (Cortes Currents) Women’s Resource Centre Update
- (Cortes Currents) Cortes Island Women’s Centre
- (Cortes Currents) Isolation of women facing violence
- (Cortes Currents) COVID updates
- Island Health’s COVID-19 dashboard
- (BCCDC) BC COVID Data
- British Columbia COVID-19 data
- (BC Gov News) news releases from the Ministry of Health
Top photo credit: Domestic Violence by Clarity via Flicker (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Sign-up for Cortes Currents email-out:
To receive an emailed catalogue of articles on Cortes Currents, send a (blank) email to subscribe to your desired frequency: