31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
22. Get perpetrators of violence against women in front of the courts quickly
The evidence is clear that proceeding to trial quickly in cases involving violence against women improves defendant accountability and enhances the safety of women. In BC, it can take 9 months or more for an intimate partner assault to go to trial. During this time, the victim may live in fear and often face harassment and pressure by the accused to recant her statement, or not show up to court. In other cases, women have moved on with their lives and do not want to be called back to face their abuser so long after the event. Countries that have fast-track processes or dedicated domestic violence courts have seen considerable increases in women appearing for their court dates and accessing related support services. These countries have also seen an increase in men pleading guilty and fewer probation violations Domestic violence courts or fast-track processes for domestic violence cases must be implemented in BC.
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
Follow @EndingViolence to learn more about #31Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women