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Women Rally to Fight Violence Against Women

Vancouver, BC- Frontline women’s organizations will rally at noon in front of the provincial courts (800 Hornby Street), to raise the alarm regarding violence against women and the systemic failure to address male violence within the criminal justice system.

We will gather to affirm our resistance and calling on men to take responsibility and hold other men accountable to end violence against women.

From March 10 – May 13, 2014, eight women were attacked by their male partners and six of those attacks resulted in death. Four of the women had already separated from their attackers and had their own homes. In four cases, the children witnessed the attack of their mothers. In four of the eight cases, the police were previously involved.

Feminist anti-violence women’s groups want to acknowledge that these attacks are part of the larger context of male violence against women. 1 in four women are sexually assaulted in Canada, there are over 1181 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and the recent 8 deadly attacks on women in BC all reflect the stark reality of male violence against women.

Executive Director of Battered Women Support Services Angela Marie MacDougall states: “We know by and large most women don’t participate in the criminal legal systems. For those women that hope they will get some measure of justice through participation in the criminal legal system it is essential that they receive swift thorough criminal justice response.”

“In Canada, laws to protect women just sit on paper. They are theories that are not effectively implemented or followed by the criminal justice system. So how useful are they to women?” asks Ariana Green worker from WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre.

According to a 2009 Stats Canada report, there is a 0.03% conviction rate when it comes to sexual assault.

“Indigenous women face disproportionately higher rates of violence against them and the male violence that is perpetrated against them are more brutal and deadly. When we are talking about violence against women we must be talking about violence against Indigenous women and girls.” says Daisy Kler from Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

Feminist women serving organizations in this province have worked for over four decades towards the elimination of violence against women and called for: a criminal justice system that takes violence against women seriously, a system of service that provides woman assault and sexual assault support services, safe housing and counselling, and appropriate level of funding to ensure women have immediate access to services they need.

We continue to ask that the Police conduct swift and thorough investigations and take breaches seriously. We ask that the Attorney General direct crown prosecutors to take crimes against women seriously and pursue criminal convictions in cases of male violence against women. We also ask the Judges of this Province to not minimize violence against women, set appropriate bail conditions and hand out appropriate sentences to offenders

As 52 percent of the population, women and girls of BC demand that their government effectively address and work to end the gender-based violence they face every day.

Battered Women’s Support Services, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Dixon House Transition Society and Women Against Violence Against Women stand in solidarity with all women who are resisting and escaping male violence daily and remember all the women who have lost their lives as a result of male violence.

Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director Battered Women’s Support Services – 604-808-0507

Daisy Kler, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter – 604-872-8212