By Dalya Israel, WAVAW’s Victim Services Coordinator
On January 21, 2013 the BC Government launched an online public consultation questionnaire where the public is asked to make suggestions on how to stop domestic violence.
Since we haven’t been able to integrate and enact any of the recommendations put forth by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women that was struck in 2004 at the Federal Level, nor the recommendations put forth in 1993 which came out of the report entitled “Changing the Landscape: Ending Violence-Achieving Equality” why is it that we think consulting the public thru an on-line survey is going to have the answers we need as a society to end Domestic Violence?
If we are unwilling to acknowledge and attend to the realities and root causes of violence against women, then we will continue to be desensitized (if she’s not dead she’s safe), we will be encouraged to believe that violence against women is inevitable, we will be influenced to believe that violence against women is an individual issue rather than a social issue and, be encouraged to make it about individual women having done something wrong or not good enough to keep themselves safe rather than holding perpetrators and the rape culture that socialized them accountable.
We have to tell the government that a public consultation to deal with Domestic Violence is insufficient and appalling. Imagine how Sunny Park would feel if she was told that her expression of concern about her lack of safety to police wasn’t enough to educate us about how we value and honour women’s knowledge about their lives. How would Sunny feel about the government asking the public how they should listen to women?