Communities must start protecting women
A colleague of mine recently gave me a copy of the Nov. 25 guest editorial letter that appeared in the Nunatsiaq News.
As I was reading this woman’s letter, I was submerged by a feeling of sadness for all the women experiencing daily violence and abuse from their spouses, but I was also feeling proud!
I was proud that a woman found the courage to speak up and reach out to all the women living under the terror of their husbands, boyfriends or fathers.
Having worked in the Nunavik health care system for several years, I cannot help thinking that the system is letting these women down, and to hear a woman victim of violence say that she has no one to help her brings tears to my heart because I know she is right.
Local community members working for Social Services or the Department of Youth Protection are finding it extremely difficult to do what they are mandated to do as they are continuously threatened with retribution from those abusing husbands and fathers.
And yet, everyone turns a blind eye on the situation and shrugs their shoulders when hearing of another woman who got beaten or worse, killed.
Demand tougher sentences for the abusers and all people who commit acts of violence! How can you expect a woman to report her abusing husband and lay charges against him when she knows he will be out of jail the next day and beat her again or even kill her for reporting him? Where can she go? Who will protect her and her children? The court who released her husband with conditions the next day? She knows better than that.
To the woman who found courage to write her letter and denounce the violence, I say thank you, and I hope your words will touch others like they touched me and that communities will start protecting women and speak up against violence.
(Name withheld by request)