THE Abbotsford Police Department Domestic Violence Unit has created a series of Valentine’s Day cards aimed at promoting domestic and intimate partner violence awareness. On the surface, the cards look just like regular greeting cards, featuring typical Valentine’s Day messages like “I love you so much it hurts” and “You knock me off my feet”.
However, the back of each card reveals the following message: “DYK [do you know] that the Abbotsford Police Department responded to 1376 calls for service that were related to domestic violence. The sentiment on the front of this card is not a metaphor. Someone you may know experiences abuse at the hands of someone they love. It’s time to #SpeakOut. If you, or someone you know needs support or help, call 604-859-5225.”
The cards are available in three designs. “As they circulate, we hope they start conversation across Abbotsford about an issue, intimate partner violence, that many find very uncomfortable to discuss,” says Abbotsford Police spokesperson Sgt. Judy Bird.
Detectives Karen Burridge and Lisa Faria say: “For most people, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate their relationships and the love they share with their partner. However, for many in our community, it is just another day of living in fear of violence. We want to bring community awareness to intimate partner violence, and to spread the message that help is available for those in an abusive relationship. Please share the message behind these Valentine’s Day cards and help us help others living with abuse.”
Abbotsford Police Department’s #SpeakOut campaign encourages those who need help to contact them. If you need help, call 9-1-1 (emergencies) or to report a non-emergency, call Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225 or text 222973. If you have questions about how to safely leave an abusive relationship or would like to learn more about our local resources, contact the Abbotsford Police Domestic Violence Unit at 604-864-4845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Anyone can support this cause by picking up a card at the Abbotsford Police Department Headquarters building and sharing its message. Reporting domestic violence is a brave thing to do, and help is available, says Bird. For more information and resources, visit www.abbypd.ca/domestic-violence-unit.