Rogers says budget cuts put women at risk
NDP Justice Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says government needs to drop the platitudes and take real action to end violence against women and girls.
Rogers was responding to a news release from government which affirms government’s commitment to end violence against women and to encourage women’s leadership.
“This government says they are committed to ending violence against women, but their actions do not come anywhere close to matching their words,” said Rogers. “We’ve seen cuts throughout the Justice department that put women at risk; there have been cuts to probation offices and to victim services, and both the Family Violence Intervention Court and the electronic monitoring program have been cut entirely.”
Rogers says government’s claim to be fighting violence against women is particularly shameful in view of a recent case this week. A young woman in Sheshatshiu was allegedly murdered by a man who, according to the terms of his probation, should not have been in the community at all.
The NDP critic says cuts were made to an already under-resourced department without any thoughts as to possible consequences.
“I’m hearing from people in the Justice system that they have already seen the negative effects of fewer probation officers and that supervising and monitoring abilities are simply insufficient. The justice system cannot work effectively if its key components are gutted,” she said.
“If government is serious about ending violence against women they need to reverse these cuts. It is not enough to say you are committed – you must demonstrate that with your actions. People everywhere in the Justice system are convinced the current review will point to great needs; I hope government will do its job and respond promptly.”