Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke NDP MP Randall Garrison (Black Press Media file photo)

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke NDP MP Randall Garrison (Black Press Media file photo)

B.C. MP says law needed to thwart shadow pandemic of intimate partner violence

Randall Garrison calls for coercive and controlling behaviour to be criminalized

Intimate partner violence has increased by 30 per cent during the pandemic, a new report shows, and a south Island MP’s private member bill is calling on the government to update the criminal code to better the problem behaviour.

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke MP Randall Garrison introduced Bill C-247 last year after hearing from community groups about the increase in intimate partner violence. He brought it to the attention of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which then commissioned a study.

The report released Tuesday, recommends a new criminal offence against coercive and controlling behaviour, which Garrison said would allow police to intervene before things become physically violent.

“Physical violence in intimate partner relationships is almost always preceded by a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour,” the report states.

ALSO READ: Reports of domestic, intimate partner violence continue to rise during pandemic

The pandemic has made things more difficult on people in abusive situations, being forced to isolate and stay home. The spike in violence was dubbed the Shadow Pandemic by the United Nations in 2020.

Victoria based Cridge Transition House manager, Marlene Goley said legislation like this could help seriously address “the repeated patterns of behaviour that have trapped, terrorized, and, in too many cases, resulted in women’s and children’s deaths.”

The report, The Shadow Pandemic: Stopping Coercive and Controlling Behaviour in Intimate Relationships was supported unanimously between all federal parties.

The committee also recommended increased funding for Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence that help support victims get counselling, housing and other services.

ALSO READ: Alberta brings in Clare’s Law to allow access to intimate partner’s violent history


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

domestic violenceFederal PoliticsWest Shore

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Quesnel Junior School flagged as latest COVID-19 exposure in School District 28

The Quesnel School District has detected eight exposures in the 2020/2021 school year

BCHydro Power Pioneers provincial director Rae Daggitt gets creative to deliver Matthew Hender his cheque. He presented Hender the award for community service alongside Roger North, the president of the North Cariboo Branch. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel student gets boost from local power pioneers

Matthew Hender received a $500 scholarship from the BCHydro Power Pioneers

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

From October 2020 to April 2021 more than 540 centimeters of snow fell at Barkerville. (Lindsay Chung - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Not so average April snowfall in Barkerville

59 centimeters of white stuff fell last month

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Most Read