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

12. Value the expertise of women’s organizations by investing in their work

Women’s organizations have been involved in feminist anti-oppression work and have advocated for women’s rights for more than two decades. These organizations are the experts in the fields of prevention and response to gender-based violence. These organizations hold unique experiential knowledge because their work is grounded in the day-to-day realities of women’s experiences.  Women’s organizations have the expertise and knowledge to assist women to leave abusive partners.  Currently, there is a high demand for access to counsellors and other services these organizations provide, but there are long wait-lists. Several women’s organizations have a six-month to a year wait list to access the “Stopping The Violence Programs.” In addition, there are few funded legal advocates in the province and organizations like Battered Women Support Services have a two to three week wait list for women facing urgent legal issues. Increased funding will mean that women can access the support they need immediately. Financially supporting these organizations will yield optimal return on investment.

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:

1. Call violence against women what it is

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

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