February 3rd, 2021
Garrison Succeeds in Bringing Bill Protecting More Canadians from Intimate Partner Violence to Committee
OTTAWA – This week, Randall Garrison, NDP Critic for Justice, succeeded in bringing his private members bill on intimate partner violence to the Justice Committee for study. Intimate partner violence has become a shadow pandemic with reported incidences increasing 30 percent since March 2020, and Garrison has pushed for his private members bill which would add coercive control to the criminal code to be considered expeditiously. Creating this new offence would be an important tool to stop harmful behaviour and prevent the escalation to physical violence.
With his Bill C-247 now being studied at the Justice Committee, Garrison hopes that the committee will recommend the House of Commons take swift action and either pass his legislation or government legislation that achieves the same result.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has cut victims off from support networks and exacerbated intimate partner violence. The shadow pandemic of increased intimate partner violence must be met with action. This study of coercive control by the Justice Committee is a step forward, and I hope that all members of the House of Commons will support adding coercive control to the criminal code, just as the UK and other countries have already done successfuly." -MP Randall Garrison
Not only is coercive control harmful to a victim’s mental health and wellbeing on its own, but it often escalates to violence and even murder. Law enforcement and advocacy groups report seeing patterns of behaviour that are harmful and likely to result in serious violence. But without coercive control being listed in the criminal code, they are powerless to intervene before the violence escalates.