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Local abuse prevention program receives $60,000 to hire more facilitators

The Northern John Howard Society of BC works with men and women who’ve been subject to domestic violence, or are in the criminal justice system as an offender.

To lend a helping hand, the BC Government is funding $60,000 for the society’s Stop Taking it Out on your Partner (S.T.O.P.) program in an effort to reduce the issue.

Executive Director Wayne Hughes says the money will help stop domestic abuse earlier.

“We now have access to a website that has blogging, discussions, and a community where we can start talking about domestic violence, we can talk about ways to facilitate, we can talk about the different experiences that are facilitators have had, and that we can be open to different ideas.”

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In addition to a brand new, updated website, Hughes says the Prince George base will be able to hire more facilitators of both genders.

He adds the program gets booked up months in advance due to the overwhelming number of people seeking help and support.

“For us, that’s a concern because if somebody walks through the door and first decides they have an issue, which is a big deal, and they’re having issues with anger right away, it’s difficult to say for them to come back in a month and a half. It’s something we want to address immediately.”

Hughes stresses for people who’ve been on either end of domestic violence, it’s important to address these issues privately, regardless if the problem is within family or friends.

“Talking about domestic violence isn’t something you talk about with your buddies at the construction site, it’s not something you talk about with your buddies at the bar, it is something you need to talk about in a safe environment. I think that’s what S.T.O.P. at the very least provides as a very safe environment for these individuals.”

Prince George serves as the main hub for this funding; S.T.O.P programs in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Campbell River will also receive money for their programs.

The announcement is part of a province-wide $660,000 donation for 11 non-for-profit community organizations that deliver domestic violence prevention programs.

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