31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
6. Add sexual violence by police to the mandate of the Independent Investigations Office
BC has taken an important step in creating the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) to investigate cases involving death or serious harm at the hands of police. Unfortunately, the IIO does nothing to ensure the safety of women who have been sexually assaulted by police officers, or to protect partners who have experienced violence at the hands of officers. Society and the police recognize that there are conflicts of interest when an insular group of people investigates itself and sexual violence should not be treated differently. There is also a need for a mechanism for women who are victims of violence, abuse or harassment at the hands of a police officer, either inside or outside of an intimate relationship, to report that violence without going to the local police force.
Women in British Columbia have waited too long already. That is why we are offering 31 things that BC’s new Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) can push for right now to increase safety for women and to bring us closer than we have ever been to ending violence against women once and for all. We are calling for 31 social, economic and legal changes, none of which are unachievable in this province. Some would require very little financial investment, and each of them will save resources in the long term given the high costs of violence against women.
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