Violence Against Women and Girls

Reasons for Our Concerns

We want our government to fund programs to engage communities in efforts to end violence against women and girls. 

We want Canada to fund and develop treatment and prevention services for victims of violence, especially for the most vulnerable women and children in our society: those living in poverty, visible minorities, aboriginal communities, as well as new immigrants.

We want a public inquiry, followed by the implementation of a national plan led by Aboriginal women's organizations, to address the disappearance and murders of hundreds of Aboriginal women and children.

That a UN body will investigate violence against Indigenous women in Canada according to an Amnesty International report in which they say, " Canada's failure to to address violence and discrimination against Indigenous women and girls has become so glaring that a prominent United Nations body now feels compelled to step in." Read more.

That  the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has decided to conduct an inquiry into the murders and disappearances of Aboriginal women and girls across Canada. The Committee, composed of 23 independent experts from around the world, is the UN’s main authority on women’s human rights.
-Native Women's Associartion of Canada press release.

That the number and severity of crimes are continuing a ten-year downward trend (Statistics Canada). The website of Vic Toews, Public Safety Minister says, "Unfortunately our safe streets and healthy communities are increasingly under threat of guns, gang and drug violence." Such undocumented talk creates fear and the illusion that more prisons are needed.
That the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page predicts that the additional 13 federal prisons required to hold the 4000 additional offenders would cost federal and provincial taxpayers an additional $5 billion over the next five years. He estimates that the total cost of federal and provincial corrections will increase to $9.5 billion by fiscal 2015-2016, up from the current level of $4.4 billion. (Report on ”Funding Requirement and Impact of Truth in Sentencing Act” 22.06.2010)
That despite a drop in overall crime rates, the rate of young women being killed in Canada is increasing. Girls represent 79% of the victims of family-related sexual assault. (Statistics Canada 2004) Aboriginal women are being killed and are disappearing at an alarming rate (Sisters in Spirit have listed 582 missing or murdered Aboriginal women, but it could be more, according to Laura Stone, CanWest News Service April 2010.)

That  vulnerable young women are being forced into the sex trade and are used in international human trafficking. Rarely are men prosecuted or convicted for sexual exploitation.

That  there are cases in Canada where women and girls are forced to marry against their will and sometimes killed by male family members if they are seen to "disobey" or dishonour the family. Such actions along with instances of "female circumcision" and "gender selection" raise concerns about Canada's responsibility to protect women's rights, particularly those living in more patriarchal cultures.

We want the retention of the long gun registry.
(In spite of opposition from police and other groups across Canada, the registry was ended by the majority Conservative Government in 2011.)

That  the main victims of rifles (long guns) are women and children in accidents and violence at home.  (Statistics Canada December 2009)  The gun registry, like car registration, permits the police to track the owner in cases of damage or injury. Retention of the long gun registry is supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the RCMP, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, pediatricians, paramedics, nurses and victims’ groups.

That the Canadian Firearms Registry reports that police make more than 13,000 queries to the system each week and 92% of general duty officers stated that they use the system. (Canadian Firearms Registry November 2009)

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