Advocacy group calls on Quebec municipalities to step up fight against domestic violence
A domestic violence victims advocacy group is asking municipalities across Quebec to step up and put concrete measures in place to help fight domestic violence against women.
The Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale, an association of Quebec women’s shelters, says almost 380 of the province’s municipalities have joined the fight against domestic violence over the last two years.
Now, the group wants elected officials in those municipalities to go one step further and implement tangible measures to help eliminate domestic violence.
The group says such measures can be anything from giving affected women subsidies to simply raising awareness.
According to activists, any initiative — big or small — makes a difference.
“To end violence, we need everybody, and municipalities can certainly help us do that,” said Louise Riendeau, spokesperson for the group. “Everybody is involved in the problem: siblings, people near the victims, municipalities, government. We have to work altogether.”
The municipality of Saint-Colomban, a city located in the Laurentians approximately 56 kilometres from Montreal, has already implemented one concrete measure.
“Main towns, they can have shelters where women and children can go,” explained Saint-Colomban Mayor Xavier-Antoine Lalande. “In our town, we are a residential city so we don’t have those possibilities. One of our main [measures] can be to pay the travel for women and children between their house and the place they can go to feel safe.”
The group is also calling on Quebec’s new provincial government to get involved in the fight.
They say they want the action plan launched by the previous government to help fight domestic violence to be upheld.
They also want the government to help with better training for police officers and to make sure there is enough room in shelters for women and children affected by domestic violence.
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