31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
21. Do not force abused women in to parenting programs or counseling
The only programs a woman needs as a result of having experienced violence are the ones she wants. Women leaving violent partners are frequently told that they should, or even must, attend parenting classes and counselling. They hear this from transition house workers, public health nurses, social workers, and family court judges. There is no research to suggest that forcing women to take classes or attend counseling stops an abuser from being abusive. Women are not responsible for the abuse, and being a victim of abuse does not mean that she is lacking in parenting skills or will benefit from mandated counseling. If she asks for supports, they need to be available, but requiring women access services is punitive and only increases the stress in her life.
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:
Follow The Violence Against Women in Relationship Act – 2. Audit for compliance with BC’s Violence Against Women in Relationship policy
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