VICTORIA— Despite Premier Clark promising a “violence free B.C.” in her February throne speech, deadly domestic violence against women and children spiked in B.C. in 2014.
“Premier Clark has failed to commit the resources to make women safer,” said New Democrat women’s issues spokesperson Maurine Karagianis.
“She promised a ‘violence free B.C.’ without putting the resources in to make it a reality. Her government provided no extra resources for the domestic violence plan and actually cut the budget this year for victim services and crime prevention.
“The deadly reality is that 2014 has seen the highest rates of domestic violence in seven years.”
There were 20 deaths due to domestic violence in B.C. this year, including 18 women, one man and one child. Another 11 women were seriously injured.
“The number of women’s deaths is triple that of last year, and statistics only show the violence we know about,” said Karagianis. “None of the women who were killed this year reported violence in their homes.
“Many women are afraid to report violence. They aren’t just afraid of their abusers – they are afraid people won’t believe them, and they’re afraid they will have nowhere to live and no way to take care of their children.”
Karagianis noted that many small B.C. communities have no transition houses or other similar services, and social assistance rates are too low to provide safe housing and adequate food in most of British Columbia.
“It’s not enough to proclaim that you support good things. Women’s organizations tell me we need the housing, social assistance rates and crisis services to make a difference,” said Karagianis.
The Official Opposition will recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Saturday, Dec. 6.
MLAs will be attending remembrance events in their local communities. John Horgan and Sue Hammell will attend the End Violence Against Women 4th Annual Candle-light Vigil at Holland Park on Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m.