The Comité opérationnel en violence conjugale Argenteuil, which works to stop domestic violence and assist victims, officially launched its La violence conjugale ne saute pas toujours aux yeux/Domestic violence is not always obvious awareness campaign on May 21.

The campaign is the result of organizations and institutions in the community partnering to raise awareness of what is described as a growing problem.

Messages involving the perspective of victims, aggressors, and witnesses are being used through four messages accompanied by contact information for SOS Violence Conjugal or Accroc, an organization which helps men and adolescents with violent behaviour.

The messages are being displayed on approximately 20 signs across the nine MRC d’Argenteuil municipalities. The campaign includes a broadcast and digital component with messages in English.

According to the committee, the increase in cases of domestic violence linked to the context of the pandemic led the committee to speed up the introduction of the road sign campaign. The number of recorded cases of domestic violence in the MRC d’Argenteuil and across Québec is increasing.

The committee is made up of representatives of the CISSS des Laurentides regional health authority, Citad’Elle de Lachute, Carrefour des femmes, Accroc, CAVAC, MRC d’Argenteuil, Sûreté du Québec, Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, Maison de la famille Au cœur des générations d’Argenteuil, and Prévoyance envers les aînés des Laurentides.

Efforts have been made to ensure the campaign includes English speaking residents of Argenteuil. Services for prevention and victim assistance involving domestic violence are also available in English across the region.

“It was very important at these talks from the start that these resources be accessible to the Anglophone community,” said committee member Mélanie Bujold of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

Domestic violence awareness campaign sign beside the fire hall in Grenville. Photo: James Morgan