November was Domestic Violence Awareness Month
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This article was published 30/11/2020 (798 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
November was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when we look at going the extra mile to raise the profile of the consequences of domestic violence.
On Nov. 18, I introduced legislation in the Manitoba Legislature that would mandate provincial-appointed judges to take a formal course dealing with sexual assault. It also proposes that the Criminal Code require judges to provide their reasons for the decisions made in sexual assault proceedings.
I am hopeful that this legislation will gain the unanimous support of all parties. National legislation calls for federal judges to show they have participated in a program related to an understanding of the myths and stereotypes of sexual assaults.
Similar legislation has been passed in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador and we need to have it passed here, too, as Manitoba still has an exceptionally high rate of domestic violence and the numbers are getting worse under current pandemic restrictions.
I want to share a little bit of information with those of you who are reading this article.
To begin, violence in relationships often line up with denial, frequent apologies, built-up tension, fighting and humiliation. We know that the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence makes it even more important that we develop effective methods for combating abusive behaviours.
Making the decision to leave a violent relationship is critical but can also be the most dangerous part of actually getting free. Once someone leaves an abusive relationship, there will be a lot to consider and potentially some trauma to work through.
We have some wonderful community lead organizations for those who may find themselves in, or have been in, violent relationships. I encourage you to reach out to them directly, or my office can help connect you with these resources.
Having a safety plan is essential and should include a plan for staying safe at home.
The last thing I want to mention is the role we can play in supporting someone in a violent relationship. It is important we believe people if they share their stories with us. We can validate thoughts, feelings and behaviours and we can use non-judgmental language and ask questions in a caring and curious way that avoids blaming and shame.
For example, asking questions like, “What keeps you in this relationship?” instead of “Why don’t you leave the relationship?”
These points just scratch the surface, but I think it’s important we talk about this issue.
If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com and my office can help you safely connect with the proper resources here in Manitoba to keep you safe.
Tyndall Park constituency report
Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.