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AmbrÖse Bierce: The Good News – We’re Better At Reporting Family Violence Than Those Other Cities
UPDATED 25/05/12 – COMMENTS RECEIVED – By AmbrÖse Bierce. Why is the Abbotsford Times trying to make the best of news that we apparently beat family members more than most other communities do?
How can that statistic possibly be interpreted positively? The Times found a way (*See headline below).
We just keep knockin’ ‘em out of the park when it comes to how our City stacks up against the rest of the country.
Things At Which Abbotsford Excels:
- #1 – Only city in BC to deny life-saving healthcare services to drug addicts through needle exchanges and safe injection sites
- #1 – ‘Stupid things the government spent your money on’- MacLeans Magazine
- #1 – Example to other Canadian cities considering building arenas – how NOT to do it – National Post
- #3 – ‘Least affordable [Canadian] cities in the world’
- #4 – Fourth highest rate of family violence in Canada – Stascan
- #15 – ‘Worst place in Canda to live’- Money Sense and Canadian Business Magazine
It was pointed out to me that the story published Wednesday on the Times’ website deals mostly with explanations from police and family services personnel claiming their good work at convincing people to report their beatings is the real story … not the beatings themselves … or the reasons for them.According to the Statscan report quoted in The Times, Abbotsford-Mission ranks fourth highest in Canada in reported incidents of family violence with a score of 325 per 100,000 population. That translates to 455 victims out of our population of 140,000.
We were just behind Kelowna at 346 per 100K, Saskatoon with 351 per 100K and Saint John with 420 per 100K.
One of the interesting things the study reveals is that, Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna show the third and fourth highest rates of family violence in Canada while BC has one of the lowest rates in Canada.
Bucking the trend as always.
Police and family services personnel in Kelowna and Abbotsford who were interviewed for the story claimed to be surprised and tried to turn the bad numbers into good news by blaming them on the fact that more people are reporting family violence due to the excellent work the police and family services personnel are doing.
How does the fact that we are finally beginning to find out the real extent of the problem due to better reporting translate to good news?
Why is good news even an aspect of this story at all? Who is the newspaper trying to appeal to with its ‘It looks like bad news but it may actually be good news’ headline?
There is no silver lining to high rates of family violence nor should a newspaper be softselling the news as though it may just be a statistical anomaly.
A higher percentage of people are being beaten and abused in Abbotsford-Mission than most cities in Canada.
Talk about trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear … if the numbers get worse will the Times cheer on the citizens of Abbotsford for getting even better at reporting the beatings?
We have some serious problems in this community which community leaders and the media regularly seem to sweep under the carpetso as not to affect people’s desire to move, invest or travel here.
‘If they don’t know about our social problems maybe we can fool them into moving here’ seems to be the philosophy behind the myopia which permeates the power structure in Abbotsford.
Newspapers once lead the way in reporting and uncovering inequity, malfeasence, corruption and unafairness. They told the stories of the less fortunate in society in order to have society face up to its flaws and force political leaders, through the unwanted adverse public attention, to act responsibly and do something about the issues which need to be addressed.
Aren’t the inordinate number of victims of family violence in Abbotsford-Mission and the reasons for the high number more of an issue than the excellent job we appear to be doing in reporting the incidents?
For a copy of the Statscan release simply Click Here.
For a Downloadable PDF version of the Statscan report simply Click Here.
AmbrÖse BierceAmbrÖse Bierce is Today’s writer in residence who occasionally gives voice to the concerns of individual citizens and taxpayers who, for a variety of reasons, are unable or unwilling to take a public stand on issues of relevance to the rest of the community. Reasons may include possible loss of job, injury to their business, or any number of quite legitimate reasons to keep their mouths shut.
While all columns and letters on Today are signed by their authors, we have decided to provide this venue for those with legitimate opinions, based on fact, with something to contribute to the public debate in the city. This is not a place for wild venting or personal attacks. AmbrÖse requires you identify yourself to him and explain why you need to keep your identity secure.
To Write AmbrÖese Simply Email Him At: AmbrÖse@Today.ca