VICTORIA— B.C. New Democrat women’s spokesperson Maurine Karagianis issued the following statement in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
“Violence against women continues to plague families and communities in British Columbia.
“Whether it’s the Christy Clark government’s decision to end reporting on the Missing Women’s Commission recommendations, or their failure to properly consider legislative action to address sexual assaults at B.C. universities and colleges, the current government is not doing enough to address violence against women in our province.
“Last year we saw a record number of spousal homicides in British Columbia, yet nothing substantial changed in response to this unprecedented violence. Supports for women fleeing violence continue to be limited, with some communities having little or nothing to offer women in need. What services exist are often funded on a year-to-year basis, with no long-term commitment from government.
“The Christy Clark government’s failure to bring in a comprehensive poverty-reduction plan also disproportionately hurts women. Half of the children living in single-parent households live in poverty. Three quarters of single mothers in Metro Vancouver struggle to afford housing. We know that poverty binds women to dangerous relationships. Addressing poverty is critical to addressing violence against women.
“Even when the Christy Clark Liberals are offered a solution to immediately address violence against women, such as bringing in a safe, affordable public transportation system for communities along the Highway of Tears, the government drags their heels instead of taking action.”
“Elimination of violence against women takes more than one-off announcements, photo-ops and slogans. It requires leadership at the highest levels, leadership that is sorely lacking under the Christy Clark Liberal government.”