Wednesday August 24, 2022 | COLWOOD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
“If this government is serious about ending intimate partner violence, it needs to criminalize coercive and controlling behaviour,” said Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) on Twitter today.
He further says that this will “help ensure that survivors are able to get the supports they need”.
Garrison has put forward a Private Members Bill to address this issue. Bill C-202 is ‘An Act to amend the Criminal Code (controlling or coercive conduct)’. It has had first reading in the House of Commons on November 25, 2021.
The full text of Bill C-202 is posted online.
Garrison, as the NDP Justice Critic, sits on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, in Canada’s House of Commons.
Petition open to September 6:
A petition opened for signatures online on July 8, 2022 at 8:47 a.m. EDT. Signatures will be accepted up to September 6, 2022 at 8:47 am EDT (5:47 am PDT).
The e-petition addressed to the Minister of Justice was initiated by Andrea Silverstone from Calgary, Alberta.
A long-time Vancouver Island MLA, Garrison says: “If you agree, sign this petition“.
So far, the petition has 335 signatures.
The petition has been addressed to the Minister of Justice, saying that more than four in 10 women and six in 10 Indigenous women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Further, they say a woman is killed by her intimate partner approximately every six days in Canada.
“The current understanding of intimate partner violence and domestic violence needs to be changed to include coercive and controlling behaviour to fully reflect the many shapes that violence takes; and “police and the justice system lack adequate tools to effectively intervene in situations of coercive and controlling behaviour because they are not captured in current criminal law,” the petition also asserts.
What the petition requests:
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of Justice to:
- Act expeditiously on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights report entitled “The Shadow Pandemic: Stopping Coercive and Controlling Behaviour in Intimate Relationships”, including establishing the task force called for in the report as soon as possible;
- Recognize the urgency of tabling legislation in the House that would add a coercive and controlling behaviour offence to the Criminal Code of Canada without delay; and
- Ensure substantive recommendations are presented to the federal, provincial, and territorial governments on how to improve supports for survivors of coercive and controlling behaviour in their interactions with the legal system and in re-establishing their lives.
Root of the problem:
The source of violence and coercive and controlling behaviour is based on a sociological phenomenon of power imbalance in intimate relationships.
Setting up legislation around this problem does attempt to deal with offences once they have occured.
Education to prevent the offending behaviour in the first place is important, as well as the much longer-term adjustments in socioeconomic conditions that lead to dependence in cohabitation.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
The Island Social Trends digital news portal focuses on socioeconomic issues on Vancouver Island, across BC, and in Canada.
The portal was launched mid-2020, in the footsteps of MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Editor and Publisher: Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR