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Feminist Rape Crisis Centre to Intervene in Woman’s Civil Suit Against RCMP and Government


(VANCOUVER) On November 20 and 21, the BC Supreme Court of Appeal will consider a case where a man went on a murderous rampage killing his ex-common law wife’s best friend, seriously injuring her young daughter and burning down her house. Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter won intervener status in the Appeal to assist the court in addressing aspects of women’s equality that should be taken into consideration. 

The Prince George RCMP had taken Bonnie Mooney’s report of threats by Roland Kruska and did not investigate despite their duty to do so and despite knowledge that Kruska was armed, dangerous and repeatedly violent toward Ms. Mooney. The civil suit against the Prince George RCMP and two levels of government was heard at BC Supreme Court in February 2001. On June 5, 2001, Mr. Justice Collver found the RCMP had been negligent, but he still ruled against Ms. Mooney’s claim. 

“Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter can provide the court with information and perspective on how women’s rights are affected by police response to wife assault because we are an equality seeking women’s group and we provide front-line services to women about male violence against women, ”explains Suzanne Jay a crisis worker at Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. 

“In the first case, the government lawyer argued that Ms. Mooney was ‘the author of her own demise’ it was a glaringly woman-blaming defense.” Says Louisa Russell a crisis worker with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter. “It is even more disturbing to realize that this position was taken by our government and spoken in the name of the public, when the public disagrees and is actually supportive of Ms. Mooney.” 

“If Ms. Mooney wins this case it might help other women get good police response about violence,” continues Russell, “unfortunately the dismal response Ms. Mooney got is still too common. We hear similar stories from women several times a week, thankfully, we’re able to help most women avoid the horrible consequences that Ms. Mooney suffered.” 

The application to intervene was granted by Chief Justice Finch of the BC Supreme Court. Counsel for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter is Gail Dickson, QC, Dickson and Murray. 

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In VRR’s submission, it is apparent that Bonnie Mooney was one of the many women “abandoned by the system,” to her very great cost. It is also apparent that real change, not impression management, is required as inadequate police responses to women’s complaints of male violence contributes to its perpetuation, devalues women, and fails to protect their security of person. In the result, violent men are not stopped or deterred from engaging in further acts of violence, women reasonably lose confidence in the justice system, and women’s Charter rights to equality and security of the person are violated.


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