31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women

31. Build on what works- learn from the successes of the anti-violence sector in BC and beyond

Statistics such as “a woman leaves an abuser seven times before she leaves for good” are useful to demonstrate the enormity of the barriers facing women leaving abusive relationships, but these numbers are not inevitable. There are many organizations right here in BC that are effectively supporting women to beat the odds. Organizations that work with women by supporting her in whatever choice she wants to make and by offering whatever supports she believes she needs quickly see that women can make meaningful positive changes in their lives in a relatively short period of time. Whether in the field of policing, child welfare, education or criminal justice the most successful anti-violence programs from other jurisdictions rely heavily on partnerships with women-serving agencies that have a deep understanding of the dynamics of violence against women and whose mandate is not to “fix” or “protect” women, but to work with women to end violence against women.

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.

For more information:

Jane Doe Advocates – 31 Things British Columbia can do Right Now to End Violence Against Women

Follow The Violence Against Women in Relationship Act – 2. Audit for compliance with BC’s Violence Against Women in Relationship policy

3. Address the immediate financial and housing needs of women fleeing violence

4. Enhance access to justice for women – invest in family, immigration and poverty law legal aid services

5. Make addressing women’s inequality a core learning objective for all BC students

6. Add sexual violence by police to the mandate of the Independent Investigations Office

7. Address the feminization of poverty with a provincial anti-poverty plan

8. Push to add gender and sex to the hate crime provisions of Canada’sCriminal Code

9. Bring back regional coordination committees for women’s safety

10. Join the call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

11. Do not let immigration status stand in the way of women’s safety

12. Value the expertise of women’s organizations by investing in their work

13. Make women’s safety the first priority in police response

14. Create binding guidelines on the use of psychological testing and labeling in child custody and child protection cases

15. Train and support specialized Crown Counsel for cases involving gender violence

16. Ensure women have access to interpretation in interaction with police, courts, social workers and other decision-makers

17. Increase access to gender appropriate drug treatment and harm reduction services

18. Monitor and evaluate the implementation and interpretation of BC’s new Family Law Act

19. Hold offenders accountable for impacts on children of violence against women

20. Take action on women-blaming and women-shaming in all its forms

21. Do not force abused women in to parenting programs or counseling

22. Get perpetrators of violence against women in front of the courts quickly

23. Work with the anti-violence sector to develop training for all first responders and decision-makers

24. Provide safe, affordable and sustainable housing options for women

25. Provide safe and accessible transportation options for low-income women

26. Fully implement best practice standards for child protection workers working with women experiencing violence

27. Ensure women attending the courthouse are not forced to interact with their abuser

28. Ensure consistent access for women to victim-service workers and supports

29. Value caregiving working- invest in childcare and eldercare

30. Develop and implement appropriate programs for men who abuse women with a focus on gender power

Follow @EndingViolence to learn more about #31Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women