Dear Mayor and Council,
Based on its published data, Vancouver Police Department received 578 reports of sexual assault (“sex offences”) in 2021. Addressing the enormous gap between the number of sexual assaults reported to police, and the actual number of sexual assaults committed (mostly against women and children), will require serious measures. We are prepared to offer our input if you and/or the VPD seek to encourage more victims to come forward and report the sexual crimes against them. While our comments below focus on the cases that have been reported to police, there is a direct link between the abysmal results of the existing reports, and the fact that most sexual assaults are not reported to police at all.
For you, as city council members, who we trust to take seriously the lack of women’s safety in Vancouver and the high number of women and children in Vancouver who are victims of sexual violence, we urge you to demand the following data from the VPD in order to effectively evaluate their work responding to sexual assault:
We believe that examining the VPD’s data in response to these two questions will prompt you to urge both police and crown prosecution for Vancouver to re-orient their work to result in a dramatic increase in the number of men who are being held accountable for acts of sexual violence against women and children.
On behalf of the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
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