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Sessions on domestic violence starting in Chilliwack

It could be a Chilliwack retiree worried about his niece. He desperately wants to know what services are out there to help victims of abuse.

Or maybe it's a concerned neighbour who has heard the screams. Or a co-worker who knows someone in trouble and doesn't know where to turn.

Info sessions on domestic violence in the community are starting this week hosted by local RCMP, featuring speakers from key agencies in Chilliwack.

The idea is the brainchild of RCMP Cpl. Barb Vincent of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment, who has run similar programs successfully in other communities.

"I wanted to host a series that would introduce the different service providers in the community," she said. "I thought we could be the conduit for those kind of discussions every week."

It can be difficult and confusing for individuals or families who have suffered violence at the hands of a spouse or loved one to seek out the help or resources they need from the varied agencies. There is a range of services for women, men and children, from one-on-one counselling, to anger management, to group work.

"But sometimes it's hard just to walk through the door."

Ultimately this information will be of value not just to victims of family violence. It has broader appeal to a range of community members, or concerned family or friends.

There are some "really interesting presenters" booked for the free series, starting with speakers from Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society, who will co-present on May 9 at 10:30 a.m. in the Chilliwack Community Services boardroom.

The sessions run for six consecutive weeks at the CCS offices on Wellington,  every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon until June 13.

Subsequent weeks will see presenters from Ann Davis Transition Society, Xolhemet Society, Chilliwack Community Services, Mennonite Central Committee, RCMP and RCMP Victim Services.

For more details contact Cpl. Vincent at (604) 702-4001.

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