New Democrat women’s critic Maurine Karagianis sent out the following statement in honour of the 23rd annual Women’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women:
“For 23 years on February 14th, we have honoured the memories of missing and murdered women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside whose lives have been stolen from us due to violence.
“Today, we once again march in solidarity with friends, family members and the community to uphold the memories of those who have died, and to bring much-needed attention to the unacceptable levels of violence that exist in this province and are too often directed at our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.
“Violence in any form, whether emotional, spiritual, mental or physical, is unacceptable. Despite the many calls to action by the B.C. government, too little is being done by in this province to protect vulnerable women. As a result, we continue to see pervasive rates of abuse, exploitation, and violence perpetrated against women, particularly those of First Nations descent.
“As a province, we are failing to address the systemic inequalities that exist, and we are failing to bring an end to cycle of poverty that plagues so many of our communities and allows women and their families to live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.
“Today we urge each and every British Columbian to not just honour the memories of B.C.’s murdered and missing women, but to take action, demand better from all levels of government, and to call on the B.C. Liberal government to put the necessary measures in place so that the cycle of violence against marginalized women ends once and for all.”