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

Discovery House executive director Jerome Abraham in front of the third building, Parkers Place, for the addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen offices in Penticton. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen showcases local government

The RDOS has put together a video as part of Local Government Awareness Week

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

Doctor Jessica Luksts is being recognized on BC Family Doctor Day for her part in the early days of the pandemic. (Submitted)
Celebrate BC Family Doctor Day on May 19

The South Okanagan Similkameen has over 80 family doctors serving the community

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read