Another woman in B.C. was killed on Sunday by her ex-husband. WAVAW’s Manager of Victim Services and Outreach Programs, Dalya Israel, spoke on Global News BC1 at 4pm yesterday about violence against women.
My initial reaction last night hearing that yet another woman has had her life taken at the hands of male violence is absolute heartbreak. Knowing that another little person that has been left behind to grow up in the legacy of violence against his mom, well, it just makes things seems so out of control.
Are organizations like yours receiving enough support from government?
I was hoping that someone in leadership in this Province, perhaps Christy Clark, would be all over media today saying enough is enough. I was reflecting on Chimamanda Adichie’s article “The President I Want” in relation to the missing girls in Nigeria. She says…
“I find our president’s actions and non-actions unbelievably surreal. I do not want a president who, weeks after girls are abducted from a school and days after brave Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest the abductions, merely announces a fact-finding committee to find the girls. I want President Jonathan to be consumed, utterly consumed, by the state of insecurity in Nigeria. I want him to make security a priority, and make it seem like a priority. I want a president consumed by the urgency of now, who rejects the false idea of keeping up appearances while the country is mired in terror and uncertainty.”
That’s what I want Christy Clark to do as well. Do more than allot money to open a governmental office that has no teeth and does nothing to build on the expertise of women’s organizations that have been doing this work for 30 or 40 years.
What action do we need to see from government in light of the most recent homicide?
Women’s organizations in this city are the life lines for women who need to reach out and get support, but we have wait lists for counselling and we are running educational outreach in schools off the side of our desks. We need core funding to be able to do this work and we need contracts that actually reflect the needs of the women we serve. At WAVAW we have had 1.5 full time counselling position equivalents for 20 years, there has been no increase in our funding for that. It’s difficult for women to process what’s going on for them and resist the stories that their abusers have told them about themselves when counselling is not available.
Why are women not receiving the protection they need? Are sentences tough enough on men who break no contact orders?
Until we are all educating ourselves about how sexism, racism, classism, etc. impact our belief systems, no system – including the criminal justice system - is going to take violence against women seriously. That will also require us to balance a victims rights with the offenders rights in power based crime situations.
Where can women go for help?
Woman can call WAVAW’s crisis line for support and referrals: 604-255-6344.