Canada's Promises to Keep: The Charter and Violence Against Women Report

Monday, July 26 2010

This is a report by Canada's feminist frontline anti-violence workers. From a five year research project (1998-2003) that involves eleven rape crisis and sexual assault centres across Canada, Canada's Promises to Keep analyses how the Canadian justice system prevents convictions in cases of male violence against women.

The report is based on the cases of 100 women who were interviewed and supported by rape crisis workers and their centres as the women attempted to engage the justice system in response to the attacks each experienced. While each of the cases reveals the individual attitudes of the justice system personnel from 911 operators to police to crown and judiciary, front-line workers analyze that there is more at play than individual poor attitudes. This analysis takes into account the restructuring of Canada, including intergovernmental funding agreements, the pressures of global capital, and the ideological shifts that move us towards decriminalizing violence against women while criminalizing our resistance.

It is an accomplishment for front-line anti-violence groups to be able to speak directly to our allies in such full manner on such a specific topic. We think this is an important contribution to the discussion about women's equality and state responsibilities and powers towards ending male violence against women in a way that ensures women's rights to justice, peace and equality.

Canada's Promises to Keep is available by e-mailing the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres at casac02@shaw.ca

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