B.C. says new training will help police recognize domestic abuse
The British Columbia government says it's updating its training programs for police so officers can better recognize and respond to intimate partner violence.
The new mandatory training will update four previous training modules which were more than a decade old, the province said Monday.
Some of the updates include assessing risk factors for domestic violence – such as an "emphasis on perpetrator behaviours intended to oppress, dominate, isolate and control victims" – additional trauma-informed guidelines, including some that are unique to Indigenous women who may experience intimate partner violence, and revised templates on how to document cases and report them to Crown counsel.
The new training manuals "reflect current best practices and emerging research," according to the province, and was developed over the past two years with input from police, independent experts, outreach workers and Indigenous partners.
"This timely renewal of training materials will prepare officers to better respond to the realities of intimate partner violence today, including its disproportionate impact on Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQ+ people," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a release Monday.
"Ensuring that frontline officers have up-to-date information from risk assessment through to charge recommendations, will complement our ongoing work with community partners who are helping vulnerable people transition more quickly to safety and survivorship," he said.
The updated training modules will be part of the course material at the British Columbia Police Academy, and current officers will have to complete the updated materials by the end of 2022.
The province estimates that the updated program takes about four to five hours to complete.