Montreal, October 26, 2021 – Montreal mayoral candidate and leader of Ensemble Montréal, Mr. Denis Coderre, and several candidates of his team rallied today against domestic violence. During a press conference, the party unveiled its plan to help the victims of this scourge which has grown since the pandemic of COVID-19.
“From the moment victims leave their abusers to the moment they are safely housed, we will support them throughout their process of breaking free. Our administration in partnership with various organizations will be a true ally in the fight against domestic violence. In 2016, the City of Montreal declared itself an Allied Municipality against Domestic Violence and, in light of this problem gaining ground in the shadows, it is time to take this commitment further,” said Denis Coderre.
To better recognize and support victims, a new joint team dedicated to the fight against domestic violence will be created within the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) in collaboration with emergency and transitional shelters. It will be based on the same community and proximity principles as the Psychosocial Emergency Support Team and the Mobile Reference and Roaming Intervention Team.
“Victims of domestic violence sometimes remain in the grip of their abuser; they can be very fragile and prone to withdrawing allegations. Deploying a team quickly, with intervention expertise, will certainly make a difference in their willingness to file a complaint and leave their violent environment,” explained Nadine Gelly, future Chair of the Executive Committee and candidate for City Councillor in the Champlain-L’Île-des-Soeurs district.
To remove financial barriers for victims who are planning to leave their abuser, Ensemble Montréal will enter into agreements with cab companies to distribute free vouchers for rides to Montreal shelters. The party will also partner with various dedicated organizations to offer a free moving service, as well as temporary storage. Recognizing that many organizations are having difficulty meeting the growing demand for assistance due to lack of space, vacant premises owned by the City of Montreal will be made available to them.
Likewise, we will prioritize funding for second-stage housing development projects as part of social housing initiatives. This measure will increase the number of second-stage housing projects, of which there are currently only six in Montreal, and will address the lack of space that has resulted in a 75% refusal rate of eligible applicants.
“Our administration will be a facilitator for these organizations. It doesn’t make sense that they have to deal with a lack of space in the face of increasing demands for assistance. Not only does this prevent social workers from deploying their resources effectively, but it can also discourage victims from fleeing their abusers,” added Vana Nazarian, candidate for City Councillor in the Côte-de-Liesse district in the borough of Saint-Laurent.
Understanding that many victims do not always have the freedom to surf the Internet or are reluctant to consult the websites of various resources for fear of being caught by their abuser, the Coderre-Gelly administration will reach out to them directly through a recurring communications campaign containing the contact information of available resources in Montreal.
“This campaign will allow us to discreetly share the contact information for the various resources available. The City of Montreal has major distribution channels that are frequented by thousands of people and that can make a real difference in the number of potential victims who are reached,” said Chantal Huot, candidate for Mayor of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
Ensemble Montréal would like to remind everyone that assistance is available 24/7 to help and shelter victims. Any person who feels unsafe can contact SOS Domestic Violence by phone at 1-800-363-9010 or by text at 438-601-1211.