Partner Abuse and Sexual Violence
All persons have the right to live free from abuse, violence, and exploitation, and the threat or fear of violence, and to experience safety in their homes and communities. No person deserves to be a survivor/victim of abuse or violence, regardless of the nature, duration, or status of her/his relationship with the perpetrator. No person is entitled to be violent or abusive towards another, regardless of her/his physical strength, emotional involvement and/or history with the survivor/victim, access to financial resources, and/or cultural beliefs and practices.
Partner abuse and sexual violence are complex issues with many contributing factors – including, but not limited to, systemic, social/cultural, environmental, and interpersonal factors. Partner abuse and sexual violence occur in all types of homes and communities, regardless of geographic location, culture, ethnicity, language, race, religion/spiritual beliefs, socio-economic status, level of education, occupation, disability/ability, mental health status, sexual orientation/preference, and age.
Partner abuse and sexual violence are social and community issues. We must work together in a proactive manner as individuals, agencies, communities, and society-at-large to eliminate abuse and violence and respond to survivors/victims and their families in a timely, effective, and supportive manner.
Partner abuse and sexual violence are criminal issues. Many types of partner abuse and sexual violence are currently recognized as criminal offences, and the perpetrators of these offences should be held accountable for their actions to the full extent of the law.
Partner abuse and sexual violence negatively impact the well-being of our families and communities. Individual experiences of violence and abuse, cycles of abuse within families, and inter-generational cycles of abuse impact the development, daily lives, and long-term future of survivors/victims and their family members. Eliminating violence and abuse will improve and enhance the quality of life for all persons in our communities and throughout the District of Parry Sound.
Supports and Services for Survivors
All persons have intrinsic worth and value, regardless of their life circumstances, challenges, and experiences. In addition, all persons deserve to be treated in a compassionate and respectful manner.
Supports and services for survivors/victims of partner abuse and sexual violence in the District of Parry Sound should be available, inclusive, equitable, and sensitive to gender, culture, ethnicity, language, race, religion/spiritual beliefs, socio-economic status, level of education, disability/ability, mental health status, sexual orientation/preference, and age.
Survivors/victims have the right to receive non-judgmental support and services provided by competent, appropriately-trained personnel.
Service providers who work with or on behalf of survivors/victims should give priority consideration to the safety of their clients and maintain confidentiality, within the constraints and requirements of the law.
The process of disclosure is often difficult for survivors/victims. In keeping with our understanding that some survivors/victims may be re-traumatized as a result of having to repeat their story on multiple occasions to multiple service providers, we will make every effort to minimize the number of times a survivor/victim must reiterate their experiences of violence and abuse, within the constraints and requirements of relevant law enforcement, justice, child welfare, social service, and health care sectors.
Survivors/victims should be active participants in the development of any agency-specific service plans and/or safety plans completed during their involvement with community service providers. Any such plans should recognize the rights of individuals to choose the services they need or want at any given time, within the constraints and requirements of the law.
No single organization has the ability to meet the many different needs of all survivors/victims of partner abuse and sexual violence and their family members. Collaborative and coordinated approaches to service delivery are some of the most effective and innovative ways to maximize the value of available resources and meet the complex needs of survivors/victims and their family members.
Approved: January 19, 2011