The administration’s action plan to support victims of domestic violence is overdue

domestic violence

Although a full year has passed since the motion to improve Montréal’s support for victims of domestic violence was unanimously adopted, the Plante administration’s action plan is still pending. The Official Opposition is tabling a new motion at the March 21 City Council meeting, calling on the city to quickly implement the promised measures and to reiterate its support as a “Municipality Allied Against Domestic Violence”.

“We’ve had a terrible year for domestic violence and femicide, and we need to do more to prevent it from happening again. We will not stop this tragedy simply by saying we don’t want there to be one more: this needs actions,” said Stéphanie Valenzuela, Official Opposition critic for gender diversity and the status of women.

Among measures called for by the motion are free transportation for victims arriving at a shelter in an emergency, as well as free moving and temporary storage services. The elected members of Ensemble Montréal also request that available office space belonging to the city be made available free of charge to organizations that must cope with a lack of space to provide their services due to an occupancy rate that regularly reaches 100% in the city.

To encourage all those concerned to seek help, the opposition proposes two concurrent periodic publicity campaigns: the first to disseminate the contact information of resources available to victims in Montréal and the second to share the contact information of resources aimed at people exhibiting violent behaviours.

Finally, the Official Opposition calls on the administration to follow Laval’s lead by participating in the Workplaces Allied against Domestic Violence program set up by the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale. Recall as well that, in its December 2020 annual report, the committee studying deaths linked to domestic violence identified a “great need for raising awareness and training” and stressed that successful prevention of domestic violence depends greatly on the cooperation and convergence of all the organizations involved.

“Since it’s more difficult for perpetrators to isolate their victims when they’re in the workplace, companies are increasingly being asked to keep an eye out and be on the lookout. With approximately 23,000 employees, Montréal is one of the largest employers in the city. Its participation should be considered, not only in terms of scope, but also as a model for other companies,” said Aref Salem, leader of Ensemble Montréal and the Official Opposition.

It should be noted that all these proposed measures have been implemented by cities which have declared themselves “Municipalities Allied Against Domestic Violence”. The Official Opposition stresses that it’s high time for the city to move forward on this. 

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