FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are encouraged to turn words into actions by becoming champions of Love Shouldn’t Hurt, a provincial campaign aimed at preventing intimate partner violence.

“Your government understands that everyone has a role to play in preventing intimate partner violence,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “The Roundtable on Crime and Public Safety is working to ensure that the messages behind the Love Shouldn’t Hurt campaign reach every community in the province. But we cannot do it alone. That is why we are asking New Brunswickers to help us spread the word.”

A Love Shouldn’t Hurt champion will be expected to initiate one activity per year, such as a community talk, a walk or run, a video screening or any other activity that engages the public and spreads the campaign message.

The call for champions is open to all New Brunswickers aged 19 years or older, as well as residents under the age of 19 with parental consent. More information on the application process is available online. Successful candidates must provide a criminal record check.

Those who successfully complete the application process will be provided with a training session this fall, as well as a tool kit of resources, promotional items and up to $500 from the Crime Prevention Association of New Brunswick to support their proposed activity.

Anyone who does not wish to organize an activity but would like to provide support to champions may apply as a volunteer. The application process closes Sept. 15.

“The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre commends the provincial government for their leadership in asking New Brunswickers to become Love Shouldn’t Hurt champions,” said Rina Arseneault, associate director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research. “We all have a role to play in order to reduce and finally eliminate intimate partner violence and violence against women, not only as professionals, but as mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, as neighbours and as citizens.”

“Becoming a Love Shouldn’t Hurt champion or volunteer is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to gain valuable volunteer experience, collaborate with community groups and leaders, build event-planning skills and strengthen their professional network,” said Landry. “But most importantly, it provides anyone with the opportunity to play an active role in ending intimate partner violence in New Brunswick.”

The campaign is an initiative of the Roundtable on Crime and Public Safety. The roundtable brings together community agencies, the police, the private sector, academia, First Nations groups, municipal and federal governments, and several provincial departments to collaborate on improvements to crime prevention policy and practice in the province.

More information on intimate partner violence, including resources for victims, is available online.