Forum hopes to find new solutions to violence against women

Several representatives working on the issue of violence against women — from researchers, to bureaucrats, social workers and volunteers — met Thursday for a forum on violence against women and girls, organized by the Peace Grantmakers Network, the foundation headed by Brian Bronfman and Marcia Wetherup.

Several speakers talked about the failure of the justice system with respect to women who are victims of sexual and physical violence. They recognized the fundamental problem that only about 30 per cent of women who are attacked ever file formal complaints with police for a variety of reasons: they know their attackers, they’re not willing to go to court and withstand cross-examination that will attack their credibility, and the sentences are often not severe enough to act as a deterrent, said Manon Monastesse, the director general of the Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes.