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MLA Kelli Paddon – Parliamentary Secretary’s Statement on Prevention of Violence Against Women Week – April 14 to 20

Victoria/Fraser Valley – MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has released the following statement in recognition of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week:

“Today is the start of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week. Fostering a culture of respect and safety for all people starts with the recognition that too many women and gender-diverse people remain at risk of violence in all communities and in all walks of life. This is especially true for Indigenous and racialized women, newcomers, women with disabilities and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

“Violence against women can be verbal, such as jokes, rumours, threats or slander. Violence against women can be sexual and includes any type of sexual activity without consent. Violence against women can be emotional and includes controlling or restricting someone, intimidating them or excluding them from family and friends. Violence against women can be financial, which may include controlling someone’s income and assets, or creating barriers for them to work.

“Violence against women also occurs online and is far more prevalent than we can imagine. This includes the sharing of intimate images without someone’s consent.

“Too often, these many forms of violence can escalate to physical violence, which can result in physical injury – injury causing disabilities, such as brain injury, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders – and even loss of life.

“According to research by University of British Columbia and Kelowna Women’s Shelter, as many as 92% of domestic-violence survivors who are women experience signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Compared to sports concussions, for every National Hockey League player who acquires a brain injury, approximately 5,500 women in Canada suffer from the same injury.

“For these reasons and more, we introduced Safe and Supported, B.C.’s Gender-Based Violence Action Plan. Safe and Supported brings all of government together in collaboration with Indigenous partners, service providers, advocates and community leaders to prevent and help end violence against women and gender-diverse people. This work includes preventing violence through education and awareness, while also increasing safety and support for survivors.

“Our government is taking action to uphold and advocate for the safety of all women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people in B.C., and working to end the normalization of violence against women. Violence has no place in our province.

“If you or your loved ones have faced violence or are at risk of violence, please know that you are not alone. Help is available.

“I call on all British Columbians to come together to take actions that end violence against women. Silence permits violence so if you see something is wrong or hear something is wrong, speak up. Be a part of the work to make our province safer and more welcoming for everyone.”

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