December 5th, 2014

NDP MPPs call on government to act on recommendations to stop violence against women

London – NDP Women’s critic Peggy Sattler and her NDP colleagues are calling on the government to act on a number of coroner’s recommendations to help prevent violence against women.

“Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, a galvanizing moment in Canadian history when 14 young women were systematically separated from their male classmates and murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal,” said Sattler.  “It’s a time for us all to reflect on the impact that gendered violence has on each and every one of us and the responsibility we all have to end to such violence. “ 

“December 6 is also day for us to reflect on what we are doing to change the social, political and economic structures that perpetuate violence against women and children. Every day in Ontario, women and children flee abusive homes to take refuge in women’s shelters, but many remain trapped in violent relationships because of poverty, discrimination, lack of affordable housing, lack of childcare and an economy that relies increasingly on precarious work,” said Sattler. “For those who are employed, too often the violence follows them to their workplaces. For indigenous women, the reality of violence is much higher, with almost 1,200 women murdered or missing in Canada.”

Sattler and a number of her NDP colleagues have written to the Ministers in their critic portfolios to ensure that all ministries and agencies comply with the Coroner’s recommendations to end violence against women.  Ministers that have been sent letters include: the Minister of Labour, the Attorney General, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.   

Sattler said every year since 2003, the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) have made recommendations on ways government ministries and agencies can work better to prevent domestic violence.   To date, a number of ministries and agencies have not yet implemented or even responded to the recommendations.  Some of the recommendations include:

•             In 2007, the committee recommended that the Ministry of Education train educators working with young parents on how to take action when they suspect intimate partner violence.

•             In 2007, the DVRC recommended that police departments assign an officer to routinely call sureties in high risk cases to check on bail compliance and the stability of the accused.

•             In 2008, the committee recommended that the Ministry of Labour require all workplaces to implement workplace violence policies. 

•            In 2008, the DVRC recommended Health care providers need adequate training and support to become able to screen for signs of domestic violence.

“For too long, this Liberal government has ignored recommendations on how to prevent intimate partner homicides. It has relied on a piecemeal, project-based approach to domestic violence and sexual assault instead of advancing a comprehensive and integrated violence prevention strategy that recognizes ending violence against women as an economic and social justice imperative, a shared priority for every ministry, every sector, every community and every citizen in Ontario.  Twenty-five years later, let us commit to real change that will finally put an end to gender-based violence,” said Sattler.