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Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, Vancouver, BC Kamaljit Lehal, Lawyer, Private Practice Harjit Kaur, Program Manager Gisela Ruebsaat, Legal Analyst.

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Presentation on theme: "Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, Vancouver, BC Kamaljit Lehal, Lawyer, Private Practice Harjit Kaur, Program Manager Gisela Ruebsaat, Legal Analyst."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, Vancouver, BC Kamaljit Lehal, Lawyer, Private Practice Harjit Kaur, Program Manager Gisela Ruebsaat, Legal Analyst Gender Based Analysis Division Strategic Policy October, 2010

2 Provincial umbrella mandated to provide support to over 240 community based anti violence programs throughout BC. Provide training Develop tools and resources Engage in analysis of case law, Criminal Code changes and policy Provide analysis to the field Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC)

3 Building better and more coordinated cross sectoral networks in communities across BC Act as bridge to policy makers and legislators, providing information: –What is undermine the safety of women and children –creating solutions to the problems, with all the sectors

4 Immigrant and refugee community = 25% of the overall population in BC But made up 40% of the DV deaths over the last 15 years Safety of Immigrant and Refugee Women

5 Our Goal To assist both the federal and provincial governments to prevent the re-victimization of immigrant and refugee women through looking at policy And to maintain the integrity of our immigration system

6 Our Project Year 1: Community Development: Consultation and Analysis Year 2 and 3: Solution Mitigation and Information Dissemination

7 Critical to Safety Early intervention and support are critical to victim safety and to participate in the justice process (Dawson & Dinovitzer, 2001; Justice Institute of BC, 2005; Tutty, Ursel, & Douglas, 2008) Lethality screening identified referral to advocates as a crucial step in assessing danger and preventing further violence or death (Campbell, 2001; Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, 2007)

8 The Issues 1) Sponsorship Debt Women who have sponsored a spouse who then abuses them are remaining in abusive relationships for fear of being left with the sponsorship debt. Recommendation: Change the wording in the Undertakings to ensure that such debt is not accrued, or Create policy which forgives existing sponsorship debt in situations where abuse has been demonstrated.

9 The Issues 2) TRP and H&C Applications Immigrant and refugee women without status risk staying in an abusive relationship because they fear being deported; This is a very real risk: some have Canadian born children and are not permitted to attend to their custody matters and are removed from Canada and the children are left in the care of the abusive spouse.

10 The Issues Also if they take the step out of the abusive relationship they have no access to basic health care and other benefits without status. If they pursue an H&C application it is complicated and the process takes years.

11 The Issues Recommendation: To encourage immigrant women to leave abusive relationships, CIC to facilitate them obtaining Temporary Residents Permits (TRP) as well as expediting Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) applications. Use vehicle of providing for TRP and then extending it as is currently done for women victims of trafficking.

12 The Issues Provide training to CBSA and immigration personnel regarding domestic violence risk factors; training which has a safety lens first as opposed to removal. Provide interpreters for official meetings during TRP and H&C processes. Create policy and guidelines re: cross sector coordination and referral.

13 The Issues 3) Importance of Family Support A woman sponsored to Canada who is abused is often alone and isolated; if she has children it is difficult for her to get out of a state of dependency. She needs help from family. Currently she is ineligible to sponsor if on welfare and she would need to appeal the decision and go the IAD. Recommendation: Policy needs to facilitate or exempt the need for Low Income Cut- Off Figure (LICO) for these women.

14 The Issues Policy needs to allow for sponsorship of family members that are outside of the current IRPA for child care support such as a sibling, aunt, etc.

15 The Issues 4) Guidelines A set of guidelines is needed that deals with domestic violence overall for both the immigration and refugee context; just as there are guidelines for vulnerable people and gender persecution in the refugee system. Recommendation: All current policy and regulations need to be screened using a safety impact assessment. Guidelines should address the unique types of information that could be provided to satisfy that domestic violence has occurred.


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