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

Transit Future Action Plan for Chilliwack and FVRD aimed at increasing services over five years and restoring ridership to pre-COVID levels. (BC Transit)
Future planning for Chilliwack transit aims to restore ridership lost to pandemic

Transit future plan envisions adding peak buses and service hours over next five years

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Looking out over the Fraser Valley from Chipmunk Ridge from the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. (BVMR)
Chance to ask questions about gondola resort proposal near Chilliwack

Project team for Bridal Veil Mountain Resort is holding another virtual info session

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

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

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police ID 6 gangsters who pose a ‘public safety risk,’ launch gang task force

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Most Read