Keynote speaker Mark Wynn developed one of the first specialized domestic violence police units in the U.S.

Breakfast with the Guys aims to stop domestic violence

Breakfast with the Guys in Nisku Nov. 9 aimed to not only bring men together but also featured a fascinating keynote speaker.

Breakfast with the Guys in Nisku Nov. 9 aimed to not only bring men together who encourage the community to reject domestic violence, but also featured a fascinating keynote speaker.

Guest speaker Mark Wynn, himself a survivor of a violent upbringing who went into police work as an adult, spoke to the crowd about his experiences with domestic violence.

Master of ceremonies and well-known TV anchorman Shaye Ganam opened the event at the Royal executive Hotel on Airport Road by stating that most experts on domestic violence estimate that only 20 per cent of the abuse is ever reported.

Wynn, who helped form one of the first dedicated domestic violence units in American history, has also worked as a consultant around the world about that violence and what happens later.

As he began speaking, Wynn pointed out an untold number of women and children are affected by domestic violence every year, involving their deaths along with the injury and deaths of police officers and others involved in emergency services. He said victims usually only call a help line after the fifth assault and has spoken to police in Ontario who suggest some victims are past 20 violent incidents before calling for help.

He pointed out that up to 80 per cent of domestic violence victims are also victims of sexual assault and in the U.S. millions of women report sexual assault every year. He said it’s well-known sexual assault is a serious problem on U.S. college campuses.

The former police officer said the issues have to be discussed bluntly because the vast majority of the offenders are men, and women are equal with men and have endured violence too long. Domestic violence ,he stated, causes long-term problems in society; he said 85 per cent of runaway youth come from violent homes. He added that domestic violence causes problems for many people long into their adult lives.

“If you don’t have liberty, freedom and a voice, we know that is. What that is is modern day slavery,” said Wynn.

“Why not just leave? Leaving is not an event. It’s a process.” Wynn pointed at the crowd and said community leaders like those in attendance must demand attention, awareness and resources to ensure justice and safety.

Wynn spoke about his own experience growing up with a brother and three sisters living in a home with a drunken and violent stepfather. After his mother found this man, the family moved to Texas. “It got bad quick,” he said. “Then it turned into worse things. We were always cleaning up blood. There was always blood in the house.”

He said policing has come a long way since he was a kid. For instance, one police officer who was called by his mother for help threatened to arrest the victim if she bothered the authorities again.

In another instance, the abuser shoved Wynn’s mother out of a moving vehicle, and he and his brother watched her tumble down the highway but kept quiet because they knew they could be thrown out too. Eventually, his mother, he and all his siblings fled from the home.

He went into police work in the 70’s, but his life with domestic violence was never far from his thoughts. Wynn said women were going to their religious leaders and being told to go home and pray and be a subservient wife, while abusers were being put in anger management programs, which Wynn said have nothing to do with domestic violence. He lobbied hard to begin a specialized domestic violence police unit and was eventually successful. He said it wasn’t too long before his unit had cut 25-30 murders down to 5 or so murders and other jurisdictions can do the same. “We’re standing up and saying domestic violence is a priority.”

Mayor Greg Krischke closed the event by saying Leduc is a community that’s solved a lot of problems and seen a lot of success through cooperation. An issue like domestic violence is no different, but requires leaders in the community to stand up and speak.

Sponsors for the event included Fortis Alberta and Southfork. Proceeds from the event will benefit Riseup House in Leduc and the women’s shelter in Camrose.

 

Just Posted

Unsightly premises fees added to County of Wetaskiwin tax bill

Property owner cannot be located, so contractor cleaned yard

Alberta RCMP reminds Albertans how to be ‘egg-stra’ safe this Easter

Put away phone while driving, plan for a designated driver

Wetaskiwin’s Leaders of Tomorrow honoured Apr. 8

Four youth impress the Wetaskiwin community

UPDATED Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin winner Wilson says Alberta wanted change

UPDATED Both Rick Wilson and Mark Smith had no trouble Apr. 16 with opposing parties

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

‘Open for business:’ Jason Kenney’s UCP wins majority in Alberta election

The UCP was leading or elected in 63 of 87 seats Tuesday night

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Most Read