For Immediate Release
October 6, 2017
PANSOW Issues Call for a Provincial Task Force on Gender Based Violence
Following the In Her Name Vigil for missing and murdered women and girls of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) and a coalition of anti-violence groups are calling for the establishment of a Provincial Task Force on Gender-Based Violence. The goal of this task force would be to oversee the implementation of a comprehensive, provincial plan to end domestic violence, and all violence, against women and girls.
The organizations joining PANSOW in calling for this task force include: Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, Violence Prevention – Avalon East, and Violence Prevention – West.
This task force must contain representation from the provincial Departments of Justice and Public Safety, Education and Early Childhood Development, Health and Community Services, Children, Seniors and Social Development, and the Status of Women, survivors of domestic violence, and women-serving anti-violence organizations.
Jenny Wright, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council:
“This needs to be the moment in our history, where we agree as a people that the levels of violence experienced by women and girls is simply no longer acceptable to us, that what we have been doing is failing women, and that, we choose another path. That path is a task force on gender violence.”
Newfoundland and Labrador has among the highest rates of domestic violence in the country. It is one of the few provinces where domestic violence is on the rise. Sadly, the rate of domestic violence is likely much higher than we know; 70 per cent of spousal violence is not reported to the police. Of the 217,900 women over the age of 15 residing in Newfoundland and Labrador, approximately 108,950 (one in two) will experience at least one incident of sexual or physical violence throughout their lifetime. Approximately 10 per cent (10,895) of these women will actually report this victimization to police.
Janice Kennedy, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women Council:
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador must form an immediate task force to address the high and unacceptable rates of gender-based violence in this province. Too many women are missing or have already died and many more are at risk. We demand the task force bring together government and community stakeholders to implement systemic and legislative changes that improve the safety and lives of women and children throughout the province. Every citizen of this province deserves the right to live in peace and safety in their homes, and their communities.”
PANSOW is asking other women-serving anti-violence organizations to join this call for a provincial task force. If your organization would like to sign on, please contact Jenny Wright, Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council and Co-Chair, PANSOW.
St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre
Executive Director BSG Status of Women
The Provincial Action Network of the Status of Women (PANSOW) is a grassroots, feminist, and non-partisan network which gives a provincial voice on the issues facing the Status of Women in Newfoundland and Labrador. PANSOW consist of all eight Status of Women Council in Newfoundland and Labrador