Burns Lake, B.C. – 17-year old Chassidy Charlie of Burns Lake is the third young woman to be murdered in northern BC in recent months. 36-year old Cynthia Maas of Prince George, and 15-year old Loren Donn Leslie of Fraser Lake were added to the growing list of murdered women this past fall. Elsewhere in BC, the death of Tyeshia Jones in Duncan was ruled a homicide this week. Tracy Porteous, Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC, is asking when enough is enough before serious action is taken to address violence against women. “If this many people were dying due to airplane crashes or influenza in this province, we would have national action,” says Porteous, “We would probably see the Centre for Disease Control or the National Aviation Board swooping in to BC, the numerous policy analysts and investigators trying to figure out what’s happening. But for crimes against women, we don’t even have an office that’s responsible.” Porteous is calling for a comprehensive public education campaign in schools to address issues of violence. She says we need to change the whole culture to encourage more people to speak out against violence they witness or experience. With a disproportionate number of the murdered women in BC being Aboriginal, Porteous says it’s critical for Aboriginal women to be involved directly in the creation of policies, programs and services for ending violence. At a time when BC’s two main political parties are engaged in leadership races, Porteous is calling on the leadership candidates to make strong statements about actions they would take to prevent any more tragedies from occurring.
4:16pm; By 94x and the Wolf New, Prince George, BC