RCMP, IHIT warn CSS students about dating violence

Police and friends of Maple Batalia presented a documentary and lecture about dating violence

Lower Mainland RCMP and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) are showing “Maple,” a B.C. documentary about a murdered 19-year-old, to high school students to help illuminate the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. This month it was presented to students at Sardis Secondary School.

“Our goal is to stop relationship violence,” said Cpl. Samara Bilmer of the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit (SCU).

“Through education we bring awareness to the subject with a means to recognize warning signs and prevent this type of violence. We want youth to know that intimate partner violence is never acceptable and there are people who care and can support them in leaving an abusive relationship.”

READ MORE: Movie about murdered B.C. teen Maple Batalia debuts this month

In 2011, Maple Batalia, who was an aspiring health-sciences student and actress/model, was murdered by her jealous ex-boyfriend in Surrey.

“There were so many red flags, signs that we missed,” said Benisha Aujla—one of Batalia’s best friends—to those gathered for the presentation. “Do not remain silent if you suspect a friend or loved one is a victim in an abusive relationship.”

“If you or someone you know is suffering from a violent relationship we encourage you to reach out and report it to your local police agency,” added Bilmer.

Tell-tale signs a friend or loved one may be the victim of intimate partner violence include:

• Stalking, jealous, obsessive or controlling behaviours by their partner;

• Partner threatens to harm or kill themselves or others;

• Victim is fearful of their partner;

• Victim is isolated from friends and family.

The lecture series, which was part of a program that began in Agassiz and Hope in the fall, hopes to expand to schools across the province. To facilitate the intimate partner violence awareness presentation in your community please contact Cpl. Samara Bilmer at 604-792-4611.

For more information on the recognition and prevention of dating violence, visit us online at the RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention.

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