Women Continue Their Struggle For Equal Protection Under the Law

Vancouver, BC- Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter is sorry that the BC Supreme Court of Appeal did not take the opportunity Bonnie Mooney's civil suit presented to hold the police accountable in cases of male violence against women. Louisa Russell of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter states however, "We will not be defeated by this one court decision, women across Canada have fought for decades for police protection from wife beaters and we will continue to fight! This decision is just one more hurdle for all women to gain equal protection by the law." 

Working with battered women for the past 31 years, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter knows too well that women such as Bonnie Mooney, cannot rely on the police alone in order to escape a violent husband. We operate a transition house and a rape crisis line so women can get away from violent men and organize their lives and we will continue to run our transition house and keep our lines open for other women that are currently not safe from male violence. Rape Relief will continue to support in Bonnie Mooney's fight for police protection for all women. 

When Ms. Mooney appealed in 2003, Chief Justice Finch of the BC Supreme Court granted Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter intervener status. Vancouver Rape Relief informed the court that Ms. Mooney's experience is far too common and is shared with thousands of battered women across Canada. They offered evidence that police disregard of domestic violence is systematic. This disregard directly contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and contributes to violence against women. 

Bonnie Mooney brought forward the precedent setting lawsuit. Despite being begged for assistance, the RCMP failed to protect Bonnie Mooney from her violent ex, Roland Kruska. Kruska broke into her house, killed her best friend, shot and maimed her 12-year-old daughter for life, set fire to the home, and then killed himself. In 2001, Ms. Mooney became the first person ever to launch a civil suit against three levels of state: the Solicitor General of Canada, the Attorney General of BC and the RCMP. The lower court agreed with Ms. Mooney that the RCMP failed to properly investigate the case, yet dismissed her claim on the grounds there was no direct link between the police failure to act and the fatal events that occurred.