FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The RCMP’s Safe Place Program is being embraced by the City by providing a ‘safe place’ to members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
At City Council Monday, January 14th, 2019 Cpl. Steven Francoeur of the FSJ RCMP made a presentation regarding the Safe Place Program. Francoeur shared that 11 businesses have signed up to show their support in providing a ‘safe place’ by participating in the RCMP’s program.
Council showed their support by making a recommendation to sign the pledge and refer the program to the Pool Commission, North Peace Cultural Centre and the Curling Club Management for their consideration to participate.
The Safe Place Program was designed for the LGBTQ2+ community to feel safe. Statistically, 65% of hate crimes against the LGBTQ2+ community involve violent offences which include common assault and assault with a weapon.
A business participating in the Safe Place Program displays a sticker in their window which is a sign that the business will provide a place of refuge and safety to a person in the LGBTQ2+ community if they are a victim of a crime or have any concern for their personal safety until the RCMP can arrive.
The Commitment Pledge is the foundation for the Safe Place Program, businesses, schools, or other institutions agree to the pledge as well as training to participate in offering a ‘safe place.’
‘By signing this commitment pledge I agree to use these decals/signs for their intended purpose by posting them on my premise. I further agree to instruct my organization’s
employees to assist the victims and/or witnesses to anti-LGBTQ2+ crimes by calling the police on their behalf and allowing them to remain on my premise until the police arrive.’
The FSJ RCMP are the first detachment in the North Peace Region says Cpl. Francoeur to provide the Safe Place Program. First in Canada was the Prince Rupert detachment. The program originated in Seattle and was brought to Vancouver in June 2017 with 300 businesses signing up to the program.
Any businesses or organizations can sign up to participate in the Safe Place Program by calling Cpl. Francoeur at the Fort St. John RCMP detachment at (250) 787-8100, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shared in the presentation at Council was a link to the following video “Walk with Me’ the training video on Transgender presented by the Vancouver Police Department is a tool used to better understand what it means to be a Transgendered person.
A direct quote from the end of the video by Tru Wilson, “The biggest challenge in my life right now is getting people to understand that being transgender is not something that is out of this world or not normal, its just me, its who I am.”
The Acronym for the LGBTQ2+ community means, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and a further look into the definitions of these can be found HERE