Did you Know?

From February 1, 2020 to February 1, 2021 there were 785 calls to Nanaimo RCMP because of domestic conflict or violence in the home. 495 of these instances of domestic conflict included Mischief (damage to property), Criminal Harassment, and Threats. 288 of these instances resulted in arrests for Domestic Assault.

Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Nationally

  • 67% of Canadians say they personally know at least 1 woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted  (2014-Canadian Women’s Foundation).
  • 8 in 10 victims of reported Intimate Partner Violence were women (Sinha, 2013).
  • 11% of women experienced an assault while pregnant (Sinha, 2013)
  • 2009- women with a disability  or activity limitation i.e. health condition suffer 2x a higher rate of marital violence (Stats Can. 2011).
  • Indigenous women are at a 2.5 x higher rate than non Indigenous women to be victims of Intimate Partner Violence and more severe forms of violence (Brennan 2011, Perrault 2011)
  • Lesbian or bisexual women are 3 x more likely to have experience Intimate Partner Violence than heterosexual women (Sinha, 2013).

The Nanaimo RCMP is a member of the Nanaimo Domestic Violence Unit. It is a collaboration between the Ministry of Children and Families, Community Based Victim Services, Police Based Victim Services and Community Corrections. The unit meets weekly, often speaks daily, to assist people who are at high risk of violence from an intimate partner.

Nanaimo has a dedicated Crown Counsel and a specialized Domestic Violence Court. The court seeks to promote safety for victims and the general public as well as encourage accountability from  the offender. If possible the court engages in restorative principles to support the safe restoration of a family.

The campaign brings awareness about Intimate Partner Violence and the devastating impacts on victims/survivors and their families.  The “Purple Light Nights Campaign”, which began in 2006 in Washington state by the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force, is now celebrated international; including in 3 Canadian provinces and 12 communities in British Columbia. Every year in October these communities works to shine the light on Intimate Partner Violence.

The Nanaimo RCMP, Nanaimo Community Policing and Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services are partnering up to launch Nanaimo’s first annual Purple Night Lights Campaign.  The Nanaimo RCMP attend approximately 50,000 calls for service annually, and on average 4 calls per day, are for reports of conflict or violence within an intimate partnership.

How to get Involved?

  • Hang purple lights on your business or residence for the month of October and tell your neighbourhood all about the Purple Night Lights Campaign. Find purple lights here or here.
  • Follow and like the Nanaimo RCMP and City of Nanaimo Social Media Accounts for important information on how Intimate Partner Violence impacts our community, how to support survivors, how to recognize the signs and what steps you can do to help keep families safe. 
  • Consider signing up for virtual workshops happening in the month of October. Email christy.wood@rcmp-grc.gc.ca to find out more information.
  • Talk about Intimate Partner Violence and share what you learn with your family, friends and neighbours.

Learn more about Intimate Partner Violence

What is Intimate Partner Violence:

  • Between intimate partners – present or past
  • Intentional use of: physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or financial abuse by a person to harm , threaten, intimidate or control another person in an intimate relationship.

Potential Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship:

  • Checking a partner’s phone or email without permission
  • Making disparaging remarks about or to a partner in public or private
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Possessiveness or extreme jealously

Where to get Help

  • A victim may think they somehow provoked the abuse but the abuser is responsible for their own behaviour.  Abusive partners blame their actions on the victim.
  • An abusive relationship can be a confusing mix of love, fear, dependency, intimidation, guilt and hope.
  • A safety plan can help you reduce the risks if you decide to leave.  Compile documents such as personal ID, bankcards, keys, cell phone.  Put these items in a safe place.
  • Not all abuse is physical.  Abusive behaviour can exert emotional, psychological, or even financial control.
  • Let someone you know and trust know about the abuse or call Victim Link. Victim Link is a toll free, confidential, multilingual service available across BC and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed by calling or texting 1-800-563-0808 or send an email to victimlinkbc@bc211.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

Links and Resources

Family Violence Initiative

Government of Canada, Department of Justice

Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse


Ending Violence Association of BC

BC Society of Transition Houses

Education and awareness materials for families dealing with violence

Government of Canada

BC Society of Transition Houses

Ending Violence Canada Association of Canada

What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

Canadian Red Cross

Intimate Partner Abuse against Men

Government of Canada

Abuse is Wrong  (Booklet)

Government of Canada, Department of Justice

City of Nanaimo Local Resources

Island Crisis Care Society

Snuneymuxw First Nation

Haven Society

Other Resources

For more information about the Nanaimo Purple Light Nights Campaign contact:

CST Sherri Wade, Domestic Violence Investigator 250-754-2345, sherri.wade@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Christy Wood, Community Policing Coordinator, 250-755-3163, christy.wood@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Laura Dean, RCMP Victim Services, 250-755-4560, laura.dean@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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