Under the pilot project, a worker contacts an alleged violent partner to refer him to professional help within hours of his arrest.
The Régie intermunicipale de police Richelieu–Saint-Laurent and the organization Entraide pour hommes are carrying out a very promising pilot project to ensure professional follow-up with men arrested for alleged acts of domestic violence.
In May, a psychosocial worker from the community organization was sworn in to consult the confidential reports of police officers who cover 17 municipalities in Montérégie after their interventions in matters of domestic violence.
This allows the worker to get in touch with the alleged violent partner to refer him to professional help within hours of his arrest.
When a man is arrested for domestic violence in his home, very often he ends up going home, with no follow-up, no resources for help. Angry and humiliated, the family environment becomes anxiety-provoking. And this anxiety that he will feel greatly increases the risk of recidivism towards the spouse, comments Geneviève Landry, Executive Director at Entraide pour hommes.
In the majority cases of feminicide, the violent spouse was already known to the police. And more than 30% already had a contact ban, she adds to support her remarks.
“It proves that the justice system alone does not curb domestic violence. Hence the importance of associating the community sector in social intervention with the police forces to produce concrete results. »
— Geneviève Landry, Executive Director of Entraide pour hommes
Geneviève Landry is Executive Director of Entraide pour hommes.
The project was born from the initiative of Ms. Landry who, after more than 20 years in the field of violence relationship, is well aware of the weaknesses of the judicial system in protecting women.
The executive director of Entraide pour hommes bluntly asserts that there is great openness men arrested by police for accepting help offered to them.
More than half of the men arrested agree to speak to our worker. As she is not a police officer, she undertakes to keep her exchanges confidential. The other half of men who do not turn to her say they have taken steps to seek psychological help, says Landry.
The pilot project, which is on track for a year, is already producing positive results, says Captain Francis Lepage, of the Richelieu–Saint-Laurent intermunicipal police board.
The collaboration of he specialized workers, who have specific training, cutting-edge expertise and rich experience in the field, can only improve the effectiveness of our interventions. We are extremely proud of this promising partnership, which is part of our desire to constantly optimize our intervention methods, says the police officer.
“In 2021 alone, our officers were called upon to intervene in no less than 670 domestic violence situations. It's almost two a day, only on our territory. »
— Francis Lepage, Captain of the Richelieu–Saint-Laurent Intermunicipal Police Board
Geneviève Landry took care to document the concrete results of the follow-up interventions to defuse acts of violence against women.
She wishes to have the opportunity to meet Geneviève Guilbault, the Minister of Public Security, so that this pilot project becomes an extended program throughout Quebec. It is important for the Executive Director of Entraide pour hommes that no man finds himself left to his own devices, without professional help, once they enter the legal system.