Chilliwack RCMP and friends urge students to speak out and reach out

Sgt. Kevin Jeffery, Benisha Aujla, Bnita Nagra, Karen Kang and Cpl. Samara Bilmer.
Photo: RCMP

CHILLIWACK RCMP and friends urged students to speak out – and reach out – and end intimate partner violence among teens at a recent presentation to the student assembly of 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.”

The lecture offered by Chilliwack RCMP and Lower Mainland Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) officers featured a documentary by filmmaker Jasleen Kaur telling the story of 19-year-old Maple Batalia who was murdered in 2011 by her ex-boyfriend.

Maple Batalia

“There were so many red flags, signs that we missed,” said Benisha Aujla, one of Maple’s three best friends who addressed the audience. “Do not remain silent if you suspect a friend or loved one is a victim in an abusive relationship.”

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.

“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,” said Bilmer.

For more information on the recognition and prevention of dating violence visit RCMP on line by clicking on RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention.

To facilitate the intimate partner violence awareness presentation in your community, contact Cpl. Bilmer at 604-792-4611.