This video is silent, but the people in this video are not and it is their actions that make a difference.
Author: Rita Jasper
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BWSS strategic interventions – courage on the frontline
Missing and Murdered Women in Western Canada
By Angela Marie MacDougall
Battered Women’s Support Services has been on the front line of raising awareness about women who have gone missing and women who have been found murdered in BC since d1994. These efforts have included proactive involvement in the February 14th Women’s memorial march held every year to honor and mourn the disappearances and murders of women. The march is also a ceremony which moves through the downtown eastside and whee roses and tobacco are laid where women have been known to have missing or here women have been murdered.
Each year we make our way to the Vancouver Police Department location at 222 Main Street where women speak about the need for full engagement of law enforcement in seeking remedy and justice for women. Back in the early days the police were not investigating the disappearances or seemingly not investigating the murders of women. Since then a task force has been convened and there has been a couple of arrests including one notable arrest and conviction.
In April 2009, Beverly Jacobs then president of native Women’s Association of Canada held a press conference in Ottawa. Native women die, vanish amid social apathy was the lead line in the reports that followed. Though sparsely attended Jacobs spoke passionately and tearfully indicating that 520 girls and women have disappeared or been killed since 1970. Sixty-seven per cent of the total – 348 women/girls were murdered and almost one quarter are still missing. No one has been charged in 150 confirmed homicides.
Of the 520 cases are based in the West, 137 in British Columbia, 85 in Alberta, 71 in Manitoba, 59 in Saskatchewan, 59 in Ontario and 17 in Quebec. The rest are basked in the Atlantic provinces and territories or are still being researched.
On the heels of an FBI report linking disappearances and murders of women within a four state area in the US to long haul truck drivers this summer Battered Women’s Support Services traveled across the four provinces meeting with advocates, women, sex workers and others to discuss the issue and to seek strategy to resolve the systemic issues and seek justice for women. We convened meetings in person and over the phone in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg and spoke with over 200 individuals. At these meetings we discussed specific strategies we will employ over the next year to seek justice for women and we are in the early stages of achieving our overarching goal of establishing a four province coalition to consolidate our voices to seek justice. The report with the strategies is currently being reviewed across the four provinces and the strategies will be mad public as we get clear and closer to employing them.
Posted with the permission of Angela Marie MacDougall
Women making waves volume 20::issue 2 Fall/2009
Another short related video
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