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

Missing Surrey man Bernard Grempel. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Surrey RCMP seeks help to find missing man

Bernard Grempel was reported missing on Sunday and hasn’t been seen since Friday

Members of Whalley Legion Junior Band at an event in the early 1980s. (Facebook photo)
SURREY NOW & THEN: When the city’s ‘official band’ marched with Whalley Legion title

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites, events and people

A Surrey man has been charged with assault. (West Vancouver Police)
Surrey man charged after 17-year-old slashed with knife in West Vancouver park

Akash Ram, 19, charged with assault following May 2020 incident

Surrey Fire Service battled a fire at an apartment building in Fleetwood late Friday night (May 14), near 84th Avenue and 160th Street. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey firefighters collecting donations for people displaced by Fleetwood apartment fire

56 units impacted by the fire, and several did not have insurance: charitable society

This photo of murder victim Paul Prestbakmo was taken on a recent birthday, not far from where he was found with fatal wounds in August 2019. (Cory Brideau photo)
Verdict expected today for youths accused of killing South Surrey mechanic

Paul Prestbakmo was stabbed to death in August 2019

Members of Whalley Legion Junior Band at an event in the early 1980s. (Facebook photo)
SURREY NOW & THEN: When the city’s ‘official band’ marched with Whalley Legion title

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites, events and people

Two small dogs were also discovered by the officer, one had died, and the other was taken by animal control and sent for veterinary care with the BC SPCA. (File Photo)
Body discovered in parked van in Mission with 2 dogs, 1 dead

Remains in state of decomposure, surviving dog sent for veterinary care with BC SPCA

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Cat who chases away coyote asked to join Port Moody, Vancouver police 

Caught on camera Friday, the black cat jumps out from under a parked car and runs the wild animal out of a vacant lot

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

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

Most Read