PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 25, 2014

Women’s Organizations Express Outrage Regarding HIGH-RISK OFFENDER in the Vicinity of Vulnerable Women and now at Large

Vancouver, BC- High-risk sexual assault offender forty-eight year old Donald James Sabey is wanted Canada-wide for failing to return to his halfway house in Vancouver.

In 2005, Donald Sabey was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted with charges of sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful forcible confinement and uttering death threats.

Battered Women’s Support Services, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and the WISH Drop-In Centre Society have raised concern with the non-profit organization which contracts to house high risk offenders in such close proximity and in some instances, the same building as vulnerable women and children. The same concern has been raised with Corrections Canada, BC Housing, Ministry of Justice, and the Vancouver Police Department.

“Why are these offenders being released into housing where women’s services are across the street or even in the same building?” asks Kate Gibson of the WISH Drop-In Centre Society.

The concern extends to the lack of consideration of the vulnerability of women to sexual violence in the Downtown and Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.

“There is an epidemic of sexual violence against women particularly in these specific high-risk areas”, Angela Marie MacDougall of Battered Women’s Support Services states.

Releasing sexual offenders where they have access to the most vulnerable of women shows a complete lack of concern for the safety of all women. There have been three incidents (and there may be more) of this practice in the last 7 months: Dale Roland Alexander, Darren Wheatley and now Donald Sabey. All of these offenders along with others who are currently residing in Vancouver have extensive history of violence against women and pose serious threats to the women in our community.

“In a community where women are facing daily violence, where so many have been murdered and continue to be missing, the release of these offenders here is an outrage” says Alice Kendall, Executive Director of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

Media Contacts:

Angela Marie MacDougall, Battered Women’s Support Services, 604 808 0507, [email protected]

Alice Kendall, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, 604 681 8480 x223, [email protected]

Kate Gibson, WISH Drop-In Centre Society, 604 669 9474, [email protected]

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