Ottawa, November 16, 2015
The Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses (CNWSTH) is very much encouraged that the Minister of Status of Women has been mandated by the Prime Minister “To work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies”. The development and implementation of a National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Girls (NAP on VAW) is key to clearly identifying and addressing the root causes of violence against women across Canada. The Network and its partners look forward to working with Minister Hajdu to make this plan a reality.
The Network, in collaboration with over 20 partners, has developed a Blueprint for Canada’s National Action Plan.
Given that the level of violence that women and girls experience in Canada has changed little over the past two decades and that current responses have failed to significantly lower the levels of violence we, along with our partners strongly felt that leadership was needed at the national level. This is what compelled us to develop the Blueprint. “We strongly believe that women and girls in all areas of the country should have access to comparable levels of services and protection” said Lise Martin, Executive Director of the Network.
The Blueprint is a roadmap for Canada’s NAP on VAW which is meant to provide a starting point for this work. It proposes a process for developing and implementing Canada’s Plan as well as the key elements which include prevention measures, service responses, legal and justice responses and social policy responses.
The Blueprint has to date been endorsed by over 180 organizations from across the country. It recognizes that not all women are affected in the same way. Women with disabilities and Indigenous women experience violence at much greater levels. Women living in remote and rural areas have far too often nowhere to turn. “An effective gender violence strategy and action plan will need to take a comprehensive approach which takes into account the complexities of the issue” said Martin. The Network and its partners are ready to engage with the Minister on Canada’s National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Girls.
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ABOUT THE CANADIAN NETWORK OF WOMEN’S SHELTERS & TRANSITION HOUSES
The Network brings together 13 provincial and territorial shelter organizations. It works as a unified voice to collaborate, educate, and innovate for systemic change that ends violence against women, making Canada a model for safety in the world.