The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) hopes the release of a new video will get young people talking about relationship violence.
The production, called Reveal’ution, premiered Tuesday morning during a special showing at W. J. Mouat Secondary, whose students acted in the video.
The 15-minute film depicts a high school girl involved in a relationship with a boy, whose controlling and abusive behaviour frightens and traumatizes her.
It also shows their friends and how they react to the situation by speaking up and becoming involved.
Abbotsford Police Det. Tonya Dupuis, who works in the domestic violence unit (DVU), said the idea for the production began about a year ago.
“This is a hard topic … It’s heavy and there’s not a good way to do it … but we realized we’re not talking about this enough,” she said.
Dupuis said it’s important for young people to know and understand what a healthy relationship looks like and what should and shouldn’t be tolerated.
She said she hopes the film becomes a starting point for easier discussions on the topic.
“We want your generation to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough, and we don’t tolerate relationship violence of any kind,’ ” Dupuis told the audience attending the screening.
She encouraged anyone facing such issues, or who knows someone who is, to reach out to someone they trust, whether it’s a parent, a counsellor, a police officer or otherwise.
“If we stand by and do nothing, they I think we have a problem.”
Police Chief Bob Rich said it’s estimated that one in four women will be victims of some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
“The police investigate every night another instance of domestic violence, but that represents just a small percentage of what is really happening,” he said in reference to the number of unreported incidents.
Rich said addressing relationship violence is similar to the tactic the APD has taken with its ongoing presentations about gang involvement – trying to get to kids before it happens to them.
He said the DVU regularly holds “respectful relationship” presentations with Grade 10 to 12 students, and the new video will now be included in those discussions.
“It’s our shot at it, rather than doing nothing,” Rich said.
Reveal’ution was created and produced by FireCanvas Productions.
The video can be viewed on the APD’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/abbypd. Limited DVD copies are also available through the Abbotsford Police Department.