I have had the immense pleasure of working with Dr. Balbir Gurm for close to a decade.
I first met her when I was working with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and was attempting to affect practice change in my organisation’s approach to child protection domestic violence situations. Right from the outset, I was impressed with her balanced outlook and ability to engage individuals at all levels. Her inclusive approach and willingness to engage stakeholders across sectors was readily apparent. As the founder of the Network to Eliminate Violence in Relations (NEVR) and it’s driving force, Balbir has been a strong advocate in raising awareness about this issue and in bringing about systemic change. Her credibility in the community is such that she is regularly sought out by others in the field for her insights.
This on-line book provides a wealth of information on relationship violence focusing amongst other things on definitions; the scope of the problem, theoretical frameworks, interventions and prevention strategies. It provides information on legal statutes (Provincial; Federal and International) and contains numerous links to additional resources to inform the reader. The book also highlights some emerging issues such as the importance of cultural safety; relationship violence in the work place and on post-secondary campuses. I was also interested to read the section on male victims and the dearth of services available to this segment of the population. Similarly, the importance of engaging male perpetrators if we are to effect meaningful and lasting change at a societal level.
This on-line resource will be of value to all practitioners that work in the area of relationship violence and emphasizes the importance of collaboration across sectors. It will also be of interest to others that may have a general interest in learning more about this phenomena. The book is easy to read; extremely well researched and covers an array of related issues and concepts. It is indeed rare to find so much useful information on a given topic in one “publication” and Dr. Gurm and her fellow writers should be commended for this.
Finally, our understanding of and efforts to respond effectively to the issue of relationship violence continues to evolve. The format of this book lends itself well to providing relevant updates as they become available and engaging others that have an interest in this pandemic. It will therefore be a valuable tool in ensuring that our knowledge remains current and informs our approach to meeting the service needs of victims.
Sophie’s Place, Child and Advocacy Centre