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Governments need to fund supports to prevent domestic violence, advocates urge

The call comes days after a B.C. woman died in a house fire stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident.
July 12, 2016
By The Canadian Press

Women’s advocates in B.C. say police only have a small role in ending domestic violence and instead, women need a broad range of supports.

Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director of Battered Women’s Support Services, says her organization has not been able to track any domestic homicides involving women who accessed help early.

Her remarks come after a man in Port Moody, B.C., was charged with second-degree murder in connection with a house fire that killed his wife in an incident where police say they were responding to a domestic dispute.

MacDougall says many factors tie women to a relationship, and as a result it’s estimated only 10 to 25 per cent report being victimized to police.

She says governments at all levels must fund organizations that assist women in meeting with police, navigating the legal system and obtaining housing and employment.

Kasari Govender, executive director of West Coast LEAF, adds that the spending advocates are seeking is affordable and research shows spending on legal aid saves money in the long run.