31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
3. Address the immediate financial and housing needs of women fleeing violence
When a woman flees a violent or abusive situation, whether for a night or for a lifetime, there are often immediate financial needs that must be met to ensure safety for her and for her children. Women survivors of violence should be not be dually burdened with surviving on the streets. Accessible transitional housing, crisis grants, short term income assistance, child care and transportation may be the deciding factors in whether or not a woman and her children can escape a dangerous situation. BC’s VAWIR policy should be updated to explicitly address protocols for financial assistance workers, transition houses and BC Housing. The Residential Tenancy Act should also be amended to ensure that women are not locked into an abusive relationship out of fear of the costs associated with breaking a lease.
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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