Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter in Solidarity with Native Women on Call for Inquiry into Missing Women

(Port Coquitlam, BC ) Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter supports the call for an inquiry into the police investigation of women missing from the downtown eastside. Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter supports a civil suit against the police and the civil authorities in charge of the police for their lack of action in the case of the missing women. We urge the Police Complaints Commission to be proactive in their investigation of the police, policing policy, procedure and culture or they will face more civil suits, more calls for inquiries and more public embarrassment.  

Women need reassurance that their reports about rape and wife beating will be acted upon in a swift, thorough and effective manner. There is evidence that six women are dead on this farm and 48 others are not yet accounted for. This raises many questions about the police investigation and the kind of response that women get from police.  

An average of 1,300 new women call us each year to report attacks done to them. Twenty five percent of those women have chosen to use the police, of those women, over 80% are telling us about poor police response. The Vancouver Police and the civil authorities in charge of them, the Attorney General, the Vancouver Police Board and the Police Complaints Commission must act to reassure women that we are not disposable regardless of whether we are poor, drug addicted, racialized, prostituted or married to the man who hits us. 

Women are using alternate methods to bring attention to poor policing. We are demanding a satisfactory level of accountability. In this case an inquiry and a civil suit against the police are being proposed because ongoing complaints about the police investigation were ignored. Most recently when the call for accountability was formal and widely public, it was stopped before it even began. Complaints about police must be dealt with in a way that prioritizes women’s overall safety, this is critical, not only for earning the trust of the public, but for preventing more violence and more death.

 

For more information:
Suzanne Jay
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
phone: (604) 872-8212
fax: (604) 876-8450.