Red dresses hang in front of the Cariboo Friendship Centre in Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Red dresses hang in front of the Cariboo Friendship Centre in Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Advocates call for stronger judicial protection for women of domestic violence

May 5 is National Day of Awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Staff at the Cariboo Friendship Centre (CFC) in Williams Lake say they are disappointed about what they are calling a “systemic failure” in a case of alleged domestic abuse in the Williams Lake area recently.

Rosanna McGregor, CFC executive director, and Tamara Garreau, CFC social programs supervisor, said a local Indigenous woman was the victim of a disturbing act of violence on March 30 from an ex-partner, a relationship that had ended months prior to the event. While details cannot be shared as the matter is in the court system, McGregor said the victim requested they share her case.

“This is a high risk case,” McGregor said of the incident, where the accused was arrested on scene in the night and released on conditions later that same day. “I don’t want this to be another case of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman.”

McGregor and Garreau said they want to acknowledge the family, which consists of a mother and her children, has been living in fear since the incident and are deeply impact by the event, including have to leave their home due to safety concerns.

“It happens all too often, the accused is released on conditions after a severe act of violence,” McGregor said in a statement, which also referred to Crown and judicial system as being “flawed.”

Dan McLaughlin, Communications Counsel, BC Prosecution Service, Ministry of Attorney General confirmed the accused in this case was arrested and charged with five offences on March 31. He was released on bail that afternoon and was scheduled to make his next court appearance Wednesday, April 21.

“The BC Prosecution Service takes all allegations of domestic or intimate partner violence seriously,” McLaughlin said in an emailed response, citing their clear policy surrounding domestic violence.

“Intimate partner violence constitutes a very serious, prevalent, and complex problem requiring a special response which is pro-active, coordinated, and vigorous.”

Read More: Williams Lake helps paint Canada red for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Williams Lake Staff Sgt. Del Byron confirmed this latest case is before the courts and the investigation by police is ongoing.

McGregor and Garreau, who is a co-chair on the Interagency Case Assessment Team (ICAT) in Williams Lake tasked with managing suspected high risk cases of domestic violence, noted Canadian women are six times more likely to be killed by an ex-spouse than by a current legally married spouse and that Indigenous women in Canada experience higher rates of domestic violence. According to statistics, domestic homicide rates among Indigenous women are twice the rate than that of the non-Indigenous population.

May 5 is National Day of Awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, “a perfect time to draw attention to this important matter,” say the women.

“There are too many cases where women are not being protected by the system and left on their own to protect themselves and their families.”

The women said they would like to see those accused of domestic violence start treatment and attend educational programs to learn about violence and the impacts that it causes as well as harsher and longer sentences for offenders. They also want the accused to leave the house rather than the victim having to go to a transition house to be safe.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Williams Lake

Just Posted

Talia McKay of Williams Lake is a burn survivor who remains grateful for the support she received from the Burn Fund (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
’You have to allow yourself the grace to heal’: B.C. burn survivor reflects on her recovery

Learning how to stand straight and walk again was a feat said Williams Lake resident Talia McKay

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Worth taking another look at hemp for paper production

Ninety years after being deemed illegal, few are afraid of marijauna

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Milking cows and strangers on the premises

Cows in a milking barn may get upset if a stranger comes

Lake City Secondary School Grade 12 students Haroop Sandhu, from left, Amrit Binning and Cleary Manning are members of the school’s horticulture club. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LCSS horticulture club a growing success

Aspiring gardeners at a Williams Lake secondary school are earning scholarship dollars… Continue reading

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Tribune.
FOREST INK: Plenty of changes happening in forest industry

A new process produces a biodegradable plastic-like product from wood waste powder

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read