FOR DOMESTIC SAFETY
The Community Coordination for Domestic Safety (CCDS) is a group that was formed in 2009 by a collection of concerned community members who wanted to make a difference for families and individuals suffering from domestic violence issues. CCDS meets on a monthly basis at Haven Society and consists of members whose work brings them in direct contact with violence in relationships.
Since our inception we have accomplished many steps forward in our quest to address domestic safety. CCDS has been integral in creating a specialized Domestic Violence Court in Nanaimo which sits approximately every two weeks. The goals of the specialized court are to promote the prevention and reduction of Domestic Violence within families and in relationship settings. Through the collaboration of specialized resources in the community the Domestic Violence Court is able to offer both victims and offenders counselling services and programs which work towards healthy and safe relationships. Through a designated Crown Counsel the response of the criminal justice system now focuses on victim needs and safety planning and also offers therapeutic and culturally appropriate options to offenders. This encourages early acceptance of responsibility and improved accountability of offenders.
CCDS also worked with the designated Domestic Violence Investigator with the RCMP who in approximately 2013/14, together with a member of the local Community Victim Services, formed the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU). The DVU works specifically with victims and offenders in higher risk cases to provide safety planning and ongoing support. More recently a social worker from the Ministry of Child and Family Services has also become involved with the DVU assisting with those families where children are in the home.
CCDS has also worked to create an Integrated Case Assessment Team (ICAT), which is made up of responders to highest risk domestic violence. ICAT meets on an as needed to basis with representatives from CCDS and other service providers who are directly linked to the family at risk. The ICAT members work to appropriately share information through coordinated risk identification, management and safety planning.
CCDS has looked for gaps in service in the community and continues to work diligently to reduce or eliminate those problems. Working together CCDS has improved the availability of men’s programming and is continuing to work on the response to victims of sexual assault in our community. CCDS has a strong commitment to improving the response and resources available to First Nations victims and offenders and we are continuing to work with our local First Nations Bands and representatives in that regard.
CCDS will continue to work on gaps in service and education in the community and will strive to dedicate ourselves to provide the most effective systemic response to service delivery for domestic violence cases in our community.