Male violence against women in the domestic setting, and in every other situation, is a direct result of the social construction of masculinity that manifests in men’s entitlement and control over women’s bodies. Since pornography and prostitution are misogynist systems that objectifies, dehumanizes, and commodifies women, we are calling on the Committee on the Status of Women to take a strong stand against pornography and prostitution.
In Canada, as in many other parts in the world, women first operated rape crisis centres and transition houses in the mid 70’s as part of the second wave of the feminist movement. The collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter has been operating a rape crisis centre since 1973 and a transition house since 1981. In April 2009, we invited women who stayed in our own transition house, and in the second stage housing of Monroe House and Safe Choice, to share their experience of using these houses to get free from violent men.
Professor Emerita Christine Boyle, was the lawyer for the interventer Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) and Women's Legal Edcation and Action Fund (LEAF) in the Supreme Court of Canada.
In Nicole Ryan’s case, she was separating from her husband and we know from our work with battered women that women are tremendously vulnerable to retaliation while separating from an abusive man. Criminalizing Ms. Ryan for her attempt to protect herself and her daughter is effectively punishing her for the state's failure.