The Ottawa Citizen‘s Robert Sibley reported on the Liberal Government’s up-coming announcement for an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. He spoke with our Public Education Coordinator, Yamikani Msosa.
Canadians are increasingly aware of the issue, said Yamikani Msosa, public education co-ordinator for the Sexual Assault Support Centre in Ottawa.
“On this day, nationally, wherever you go in Canada, the conversation is about ending gender-based violence,” she said, observing that organizations such as hers are getting more invitations to speak in schools and even government offices about how to end violence against women.
Nevertheless, that violence continues unabated, she said, pointing to the killings in September of three women in the Wilno area.
“On the ground, the realities (of violence against women) are still very much prevalent. Our waiting lists (at women’s shelters and sexual assault centres) are closed because we don’t have the capacity,” Msosa said. “There’s been a surge of survivors coming forward saying they need support.”
Msosa also noted a “forgotten dimension” of the problem of violence against women as it relates to immigrants and refugees. In some cases, she explained, immigrant or refugee women find themselves subject to violence after they arrive in this country. Some remain in a violent domestic situation out of fear that attempting to escape will affect their immigrant or refugee status.
“Women might not experience this in their home countries, but they do when they come to Canada,” Msosa said. “Statistically speaking we know that the rates of violence within families go up because of the pressures of immigration.
“This is a dimension (of refugee and immigrant policy) that is forgotten,” Msosa said. “We need more support for immigrant and refugee women who are fleeing violence.”