Shuswap Violence in Relationships Committee

The Shuswap Violence in Relationships (SVIR) Committee works to ensure a collaborative community and justice response to those impacted by violence in relationships.

The Shuswap VAWIR committee began in 1998.  The Shuswap Community Protocol for a Coordinated, Integrated Response to Violence in Relationships Files was a multi-disciplinary protocol for a coordinated, integrated response to violence in relationships cases. A fully coordinated response to this complex issue demands that the range of services be available to support the safety of victims and children and the accountability/treatment of offenders.

Since inception, the Shuswap VAWIR has been renamed the Shuswap Violence in Relationships (SVIR) committee. In the early years the VAWIR committee addressed the gap due to a lack of victim services in the Shuswap and worked to bring RCMP Victim Services to the area. In 2010 the community re-committed to SVIR and from the committee came the Shuswap Interagency Case Assessment Team (ICAT) in 2012. In 2020, we formed a Sexual Assault Response sub-committee of SVIR to specifically address and respond to sexual violence. There has been a growing momentum in the Shuswap around agencies/organizations collaborating and creating strong working relationships and the VAWIR and ICAT tables were part of that initial movement. 


The purpose of the Violence Against Women in Relationships Committee is to:

  1. Bring together criminal justice system representatives and agencies involved with intervention in cases of violence against women in relationships
  2. Develop a coordinated systems response that is consistent and reliable
  3. Monitor the implementation of the coordinated systems response in order to evaluate and make recommendations as necessary
  4. Facilitate inter-agency participation to enhance collaboration
  5. Support a coordinated approach to increasing program funding that address gaps in in service to reach the vision for a healthier Shuswap

Grounding Assumptions

  1. This committee will be focused on violence in relationships
  2. We recognize that men experience violence in relationships; we recognize that violence also occurs in same sex relationships; we recognize that statistics show that women are at most risk of violence in relationships
  3. Violence is:
    1. any physical or sexual contact intended to harm, control, or intimidate
    2. any unwanted physical or sexual contact
    3. any psychological or behavioral tactics or threats used to control and instill feelings of fear, intimidation, powerlessness, degradation and isolation
  4. In most aspects of our society women are not in equal positions of power to men; this power imbalance reinforces violence against women in relationships
  5. Violence in relationships is a crime and we support and encourage a criminal justice system response
  6. Violence in relationships is a pervasive social problem and requires a coordinated social service response
  7. Violence in relationships is an unacceptable choice of behaviour by the perpetrator for which the perpetrator has sole responsibility
  8. Persons remain in or return to abusive relationships for a variety of reasons: love, children, cultural values, religious beliefs, socio-economic conditions, intimidation, low self-esteem, isolation and fear of escalating violence if they did leave the relationship
  9. Violence in relationships occurs across all ethnic, socio­economic and religious boundaries. Initiatives to address violence in relationship must be inclusive and sensitive
  • Violence in relationships has a destructive and long-lasting impact on individuals, children, families and communities
  • It is the violence that is responsible for the breakdown of the relationship
  • A person is the expert when it comes to making decisions about their relationship. We respect and honour their decisions
  • The safety of children is intrinsically linked to the safety of their parent / caregiver

For more information on the Shuswap Violence in Relationships committee contact us at or phone 250-832-3203.