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Local MP says NDP bill could support domestic violence victims

An NDP MP says a new bill could provide another tool for domestic violence victims.

The bill, currently being studied by a committee, would put coercive behavior into the criminal code.

The goal of the bill is to protect people who are victims of threats, humiliation, and isolation.

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says for her riding, the bill is important.

“It really educates people that this behavior is not okay and gives a tool to prevent it from escalating,” said Blaney.

She says prior to violence escalating, there is often coercive behavior within the relationship where the victim isn’t able to do much about it because there isn’t anything in the code that says they can.

Blaney says every six days a woman dies from intimate partner violence.

“It’s important to recognize that even if you aren’t living in the same home, sometimes things happen that is intimate partner violence. There is a lot of controlling behavior and people lose a sense of their power,” said Blaney.

“We have to get those numbers, to see less women dying across the country and a way to do it is to say this behavior is inappropriate sooner rather than later.”

If the bill gets passed, Blaney hopes that it will hold those who commit these behaviors to account.

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