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violence against women

Hot off the press: Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse now available in French

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse is now available online only in French.

This booklet outlines what abuse is from a legal perspective and what a woman’s legal rights are if she is in an abusive relationship. It also explains what women can do to protect themselves and their children, and who can help. This French version includes a chapter about violence against Aboriginal women in relationships and lists resources available to them. The booklet is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese, English, Punjabi, and Spanish.

Hot off the press: Women Abused by Their Partners, Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships, and Transgender People and Relationship Abuse

Women Abused by Their Partners

This new fact sheet is about women abused by their male partners. An addition to the Live Safe — End Abuse series about relationship abuse (domestic violence), it explains what the term abuse means, abuse that is against the law, and where to get community support services and legal help. The fact sheet is now available online only.

Also available on the LSS website are two other publications dealing with relationship violence: Transgender People and Relationship Abuse and Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships. Both brochures describe abuse, in transgender and same-sex relationships respectively, and provide a list of available resources. These publications were produced by Qmunity, a resource centre for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and queer community.

Hot off the press from LSS: Live Safe — End Abuse Fact Sheet Series

This new series (eight fact sheets now available and two to come), describes 10 aspects of relationship abuse (domestic violence) to inform and educate readers about this issue. All list community support services and legal resources for further help (phone numbers, websites, publications). Topics include:

What the term abuse means; abuse that is against the law

  • If Your Sponsor Abuses You (fact sheet to come)

What newcomers (immigrants) to Canada can do if abused by their sponsors

  • Men Abused by Their Partners (fact sheet to come)

What men can do if abused in relationships; where to get help with this issue

How to make a safety plan for at home, outside the home, and after leaving an abusive relationship

The right to call police in abusive situations; how police can help; what happens when an abuser is arrested

What happens when an abuser faces criminal charges; what it means to be a trial witness; what happens at trial; possible sentences

What peace bonds, no contact orders, and restraining orders mean, and how to get and register protection orders

What these terms mean legally, parental rights in an abusive relationship

Government programs, spousal/child support, other financial help; dividing family assets; who is responsible for debts

Who has rights to the different kinds of land and housing on reserve when partners separate; how the courts can help

Each two-sided fact sheet is printed in a different colour and folded for convenient display in brochure racks. This series replaces the old Legal Information for Battered Women Fact Sheet Series (though the multilingual versions of the older series are still available online).

To order free printed copies, please visit the Crown Publications website.

Service provider fair marks Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in Prince Rupert

To commemorate Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, April 17 to 23, the North Coast Transition Society is sponsoring a community service provider fair in Prince Rupert on Wednesday, April 20. Legal Services Society staff will be there to share legal information materials and talk to the public about legal aid and related services.

No need to sign up if you would like to attend; just drop in at the time and location below.

When: Wednesday, April 20: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Rupert Square Mall, 500 – 2nd Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC

If you are a service provider and would like to host a table at the fair, please contact the North Coast Transition Society (email nctspr@gmail.com or call the number for the Administration office listed at the bottom of the Contact us page).

Changes to the VAWIR policy to improve responses to domestic violence

As we set out in our February 22 ELAN blog entry, the Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) policy was updated recently in response to incidents that showed a need for improved coordination between agencies in cases of domestic violence. A number of key changes were made to support more integration and cooperation between involved parties.

  • Roles and responsibilities have been updated in the “Police,” “Crown Counsel,” “Corrections,” “Victim Services,” and “Family Justice Services” sections of the policy
  • New sections covering roles and responsibilities for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, and Court Services Branch have been added
  • A new “Protocol for Highest Risk Cases” has been added to enhance information sharing among police, Crown counsel, bail supervisors/probation officers, victim service workers and child welfare workers
  • A “Police Release Guidelines” appendix has been added, which updates the guidelines for municipal police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police that were originally developed in 2005
  • A “Best Practices and Principles for the Conditions of Community Supervision for Domestic Violence” appendix was inserted. These practices and principles were developed for consideration by Crown counsel when formulating release conditions

Share with other ELAN readers what you think of the changes to the policy by commenting below! (Or click ‘no comments yet’ below heading).

The Violence Against Women in Relationships policy — Updated!

The Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) policy, prepared by the BC ministries of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Attorney General, and Children and Family Development, has recently been updated. The new policy focuses on integrated services; that is, the need for a coordinated response to domestic violence among all agencies involved.

The ministries identified the need for change following the Lee/Park coroner’s inquest and the Representative for Children and Youth’s report on the death of Christian Lee. The report recognizes a number of factors that contributed to an uncoordinated response, including a lack of consistent policies and tools for responding to domestic violence situations across all systems. The updated VAWIR policy attempts to address some of these factors.

The VAWIR policy recognizes that most domestic violence is carried out by men against women and that women are at greater risk of more severe violence, but the strategies in this policy are intended to apply equally to all domestic violence situations regardless of the offender/victim’s gender. The policy also looks at unique considerations for groups of women who face greater risk of violence than others, including Aboriginal and immigrant and visible minority women.

The VAWIR policy was first developed in 1993 to revise and expand the original 1986 Ministry of Attorney General Wife Assault policy, and has been updated several times over the years to reflect applicable legislative changes (including Criminal Code and provincial legislation) and changes to operational policies.