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

13. Make women’s safety the first priority in police response

The issue of women with outstanding warrants or who engage in illicit activities making the choice not to call the police for help because they fear they will get arrested is a longstanding concern, which was addressed most recently in the final report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.  Women who are living with addictions or who otherwise engage in criminalized activities as a means of survival are incredibly vulnerable to violence and are among the most in need of police protection.  BC’s Director of Police services must issue a directive to police forces across the province to develop policies to ensure that women who call police for protection or to report violence do not have to fear arrest because they are involved in an illegal activity or because they have an outstanding warrant for a non-violent crime or administrative offence.

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

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