TRU hosting online panel discussion about violence

Virtual panel about violence

A virtual panel about violence is set to take place next week.

The May 27 event, organized by Thompson Rivers University, will see a number of Kamloops agencies come together to discuss how to recognize violence, how to support people you are concerned about and what services are offered locally at this time. 

Chelsea Corsi, TRU's wellness coordinator, tells Castanet the panel is in response to a National College Health Assessment. TRU conducted the survey in 2013, 2016 and 2019. The questionnaire asks students about their health, behaviours and perceptions.

"A question on there was, 'What do you want your university to provide you in terms of health and wellness?' Corsi says. "In 2019, 72.7 per cent of respondents said they wanted information about sexual assault violence prevention. That was up from 45.1% in 2013."

Corsi suspects that jump is a result of a number of things.

"There’s a lot of media coverage now around sexualized violence, the Me Too Movement, the Time’s Up Movement I think... there’s a bit more conversation. There’s still a lot of stigma around talking about sexualized violence and violence but I think it’s raising the awareness and consciousness of people in our communities," she explains.

Corsi also points to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With isolation, the rates of violence, especially intimate partner violence are increasing; due to isolation, not being able to leave your home, various factors of power and control are at play."

The one-hour panel discussion will feature speakers from the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre, the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter, Safe Spaces, ASK Wellness and Kamloops Immigrant Services.

Corsi encourages anyone interested in the topic to attend, even if they've never experienced violence but know someone who has and aren't quite sure how to have that tough conversation. 

To register for the event, click here. There's no cost to attend. It's all happening between 1 and 2 p.m. next Wednesday. Participants will be able to ask questions at the end.

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