With the Prince Rupert-area Community Response Network (CRN) growing and incorporating new partners and members every month, CRN coordinator Louisa Sanchez and committee member Peggy Davenport extended an invitation to the District of Port Edward Council to join them in their monthly meetings at last Tuesday’s council meeting.
The CRN is comprised of a network of community stakeholders who are working to support abused or neglected adults in the community and it’s a program of the North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (NCIMSS). Overall there are 116 communities in B.C. that have CRNs.
“When we get to the table and talk to one another, we try to include as many different people and agencies as we can get, so when we get to know one another, we get to know what each other does and then we know who to contact of someone needs help,” said Sanchez.
The coordinator added that everyone is welcome to these discussions, from city officials to those affected by neglect and abuse to alcoholics or substance abusers.
CRN’s work is guided by B.C.’s Adult Guardianship Act and its outreach to community agencies is part of the follow-up to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s recommendations to identify “what’s possible in the community”.
In the past, CRN has held regular workshops, including teleconference meetings and special event awareness opportunities like ‘Together to Reduce Elder Abuse’ (TREA) week – a B.C. strategy.
“The two agencies that are mandated to respond when they receive a report are Northern Health and the B.C. Association of Community Living. Everyone else is not mandated to follow up. The RCMP will approach it in their own way and there may be reasons why they sit on it and not follow up, but if we report it to Northern Health, they are mandated to do something about it,” said Davenport.
“[Adult abuse and neglect] is rampant in Prince Rupert, but unless that person has the confidence to come and talk to you about it, there’s nothing anyone can do,” said Sanchez, adding that trust issues and expensive court costs are main reasons that victims are often left struggling.
“I can’t tell you what’s happening in Port Edward and this is why we’re inviting you to join us.”
Coun. James Brown from the District of Port Edward agreed to attend the CRN’s regular meetings on behalf of the District.