It’s Human Rights Day here in Canada.
In British Columbia, where are we at as community, today in terms of violence against women and gender-based violence?
Every day, across the province, women and girls and gender diverse people continue to face violence and abuse in their homes, schools, workplaces, online, and on the streets.
Here in Canada, every other day a woman or girl is killed by femicide.
Since it is Human Rights Day ending the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-based Violence for 2022 we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point out that in BC on Wednesday and Thursday this week in December 2022:
- three women killed (two by firearms – one stabbed – Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Coquitlam),
- two women abducted, assaulted, and confined in a U-Haul (Delta, Langley),
- a girl was sexually assaulted by two men while walking through a BC park (Victoria) and
- a convicted killer with a life sentence for killing his ex-partner received day parole (Fraser Valley).
Here are the news links:
We have said it before and we will say it again, that ending violence against women and gender-based violence remains one of the most crucial social issues to addressed, since it weakens all other efforts towards a future just society.
Intimate, domestic, and sexualized violence are key contributing causes of ill mental health, problematic substance use, and houselessness. It’s not easy to convince people, leaders, governments that investments in anti-violence services like the matrix of support options at BWSS not only save lives but are protective and preventative. Much of the attention and therefore funding goes toward policing and the criminal legal systems, systems that most survivors never access.
Over the first nine days of December, the BWSS crisis line received over 300 calls for service.
The crisis line remains a first response for victims. The crisis line helps turn victims into survivors every day.