11 25TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE Congratulations to the PEI Police Association for continuing their good work once again, in producing their 25th Annual Crime Prevention Guide. This year the Association has picked ‘Family Violence Awareness’ as their topic for the guide. This topic is one that has been at the forefront for police agencies lately, and is an issue that requires ongoing training for police officers to more effectively deal with these types of situations. Family violence is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic or family setting. Family violence can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, and sometimes also involves violence against the children in the family and can take a number of forms including physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse. Globally, a wife or female partner is more commonly the victim of family violence, although the victim can also be the male partner. In a recent release Norma McColeman, the coordinator for East Prince Family Violence Prevention Inc., stated she believes the solution to end the cycle of domestic abuse and violence is education and awareness. She went on to say, "Let's work together because, with many people working together, both women and men, we can really make a difference. We've come a long way in the past 25 years but there's more education and awareness around the issues and the root causes of domestic abuse and violence, and I think that's really important." Family violence is everyone’s business so we cannot, and must not, shut the door on the home and say it’s not our business. Indeed several strides have been made in protecting victims of family violence, notably the introduction in 1996 of P.E.I.’s Family Violence Protection Act. The act does what the Criminal Code can’t, immediately securing safety of the victim by allowing emergency protection orders to be put in place with the victim’s consent. This can be done when police are called to a home, long before the alleged abuser goes to court. The short-term order can give a victim temporary custody of children and possession of the family home. It can also ensure the abuser hands over things like car keys and medical cards and keeps paying household bills. We do know that family violence is all too common. Reported numbers reflect only a small fraction of the real picture as most incidences of family violence go unreported. The impact of family violence is far reaching. Children of family violence are among those who suffer the most, and sadly the research suggests that boys that grow up in a home with family violence are more likely themselves to become abusers as adults. Everyone can do their part to end family violence by providing non-judgmental support and awareness to someone being abused, and encouraging them to report the abuse to police and by simply letting them know they are not alone. Every human being on this earth has the right to live his or her own life without fear and this awareness must be relayed to victims of family violence. J. David Poirier Chief of Police Summerside Police Services MESSAGE FROM SUMMERSIDE’S CHIEF OF POLICE