The Transition House Association of Nova Scotia condemns all forms of police violence and brutality. We are saddened and outraged by the behaviour of the police, as depicted in the CBC article on 9th November 2020 “She was too afraid to testify at her ex’s domestic abuse trial. She was jailed instead“. This behaviour, a clear violation of human rights, entrenches fear of police and the criminal justice system as an additional burden on victims of violence.
As advocates for women who experience abuse, we know that fear of police responses has become a further deterrent for women to seek support and leave their abuser, and stories such as this intensifies and validates this fear.
Member organizations of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia work with women who are highly pressured by police to testify against their alleged abuser. Through constant advocacy and victim engagement, they support women who are going through this re-traumatizing process, trying to ensure they can navigate systems safely. These police actions sends a deeply negative message to women experiencing abuse, who may be thinking about escaping but too afraid to do so. We urge the police to:
- integrate community supports and victim advocacy such as those offered by THANS members in a meaningful and sustainable manner;
- implement trauma-responsive approaches, and
- respect the safety, dignity, and human rights of victims as they navigate a system which already appears to be stacked against them.
If you are concerned that a woman you know may be experiencing violence, please call
open 24/7, for safe and confidential information on how to best support her.