MAWS provides information only. If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free crisis line at: 1-877-977-0007
In this case being number one isn’t a good thing. Yes, Manitoba has the highest provincial rate of femicide in Canada. Yet funding for the very services that work to keep women safe are dangerously underfunded with no help in sight. Shelters and family violence agencies need to be recognised for the valuable, necessary and increasingly more dangerous work they do. Don’t get me wrong, I see increased funding for police services valuable but the police more often then not aren’t there to help an abused women. For example, how does a women safely get her belongings from HER home when forced to flee because the spouse is abusive. I emphasize her home because I would like to know why she has to be the one to leave? Why are women and children displaced when it’s the man who is conducting a criminal act? If a man beats up another man on the street is he given a slap on the wrist and sent home? Not likely, so why is it acceptable to let men abuse a woman? Believe me, the counsellors in the shelters have heard all the reasons from the women themselves. I’m sure there isn’t a domestic violence counsellor who at some point in her career hasn’t heard a women blame herself or make excuses for her partners abuse. I wondering why that is?
Yesterday I was asked by a reporter “how can femicide be stopped”, I could not answer the question but perhaps I have a partial answer. Public education, family education, children’s education, when we teach our children to be respectful of all other people, have confidence and be proud of themselves perhaps the young men and women will learn to either not become a bully who becomes an abuser or alternatively they will have enough self respect and awareness to stay away from a man or women who will become abusive. That part is a whole lot harder since abusers are very good at manipulation and know exactly how to slowly indoctrinate a women into complete helplessness. Oh yes, don’t be fooled because strong educated women who are leaders are just as much at risk of abuse. It happens more often than you think. You just don’t hear about it until it becomes a femicide, when she becomes just another number.
Women are dying at the hands of men, usually their husbands or boyfriends or sometimes a male friend or acquaintance. Why is there such a blatant lack of respect for women? The statistics don’t lie but it appears that its easier to ignore the facts. Governments like to spout about fiscal responsibility but what about social responsibility. The murders have to stop, the abusiveness has to stop.
Recognition of all forms of abuse needs to be taught so that it can be avoided. Governments tackled stop smoking and they were largely successful and the numbers of smokers decreased, education made a difference to many smokers and potential smokers. Lets do it again, ask your MLA for a stop domestic abuse campaign. Lets make it go Canada wide.