31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
28. Ensure consistent access for women to victim-service workers and supports
BC’s VAWIR policy states that all victims should be advised of the availability of victim services and identifies clear referral policies depending on the resources available in a given community. In spite of protocols, many women continue to fall through the cracks. Front line workers play a pivotal role in empowering and supporting a woman when she decides to leave an abusive intimate relationship as well as supporting her when she is faced with having to navigate the Criminal Justice System. Victim-services programs must be resourced and mandated to be available to women within a short timeframe. The Ministry of Justice should ensure that all victim support workers within the Victim Services Programs and Community–Based Victim Services Programs are able to access proper training so they can support women and their families based on a multidisciplinary analysis. It is imperative to ensure that victim service, along with other front line workers, undertake a comprehensive training that includes gender violence and an intersectional decolonizing practice. They must be equipped to engage in a practice that takes into consideration gender, race, class, gender identity, ability and/or disability and that reflect an understanding of the dynamics of power and control that underlie 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:
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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