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

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

Psychological testing is widely used during parenting capacity assessments, which are conducted in most child protection matters and some custody and access disputes. Many of the tests that are commonly used were developed for use in clinical settings, and have not been shown to be valid for predicting parenting capacity. Women who have experienced violence and abuse are vulnerable to inappropriate mental health labeling and diagnoses that do not account for the impact of violence on their health. The lack of standardized guidelines for the preparation of these assessments and absence of mandatory violence screening tools compound the problem. A province-wide review of the impact of these assessments is necessary to develop recommendations that will ensure women’s rights, and those of their children, are being respected in these important cases.

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

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