31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
4. Enhance access to justice for women – invest in family, immigration and poverty law legal aid services
Over the past decade, legal aid in BC has been drastically reduced, compromising access to justice and the rule of law. Family law services have been particularly restricted, with dire consequences for many women. Without publicly funded legal advice and representation, women are compromising their rights in order to avoid costly trials or having to self-represent against an abusive, and possibly represented, former partner. If BC is serious about tackling violence against women, women must have access to the supports they need, which requires a fully funded legal aid system.
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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