Stopping the violence against missing, murdered women starts with you
Some concrete steps everyone can take to prevent further tragedies
With all the recent attention being given to missing and murdered aboriginal women, many people are asking the question: How do we prevent more of our women from going missing and becoming victims of violence?
Prevention begins with you, the individual.
No matter who you are, what you do or where you come from, you must take the time to keep yourself safe.
As adults, you have the right to go where you please. However, letting friends know the basics of your plans can prove beneficial if you do go missing.
It is a simple matter of letting those you trust know when you are going to be out, when you expect to be back and a general idea of your plans. When out on your own, wherever possible, stay in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings.
Keeping a cell phone on your person can be a great safety measure. When a situation arises that gives you cause to hesitate, follow your instincts and walk — or run — away from it.
Families need to stop tolerating and accepting inter-familial (domestic) violence. Stop protecting family members when they enact violence on another.
Support each other in change for the better rather than blame victims for family breakdown caused by the offender. Stop accepting violence as normal.
Parents, find out who the friends of your children are. Monitor who they spend time with, what they do on the internet and social media sites and don't ever hesitate to ask questions and set rules.
Communities can come together to make their environment safe for everyone who lives there. The code of silence must end. The old attitude of 'we shouldn't get involved' must stop.
It's your community. BE INVOLVED! Stand together against crime and violence. Stand beside those who are the voice of positive change in your community. At the very least, know who your neighbours are.
At a government level, funding to support services that assist vulnerable populations in getting the education, job training, housing and emotional support services they need to lift themselves out of poverty, addictions and homelessness is vital.
Stop protecting family members when they enact violence on another.- Rhonda Fiddler
Stricter sentencing on violent crime is also a necessity. Single-parent families can be helped out of poverty by placing greater financial accountability on non-custodial or absentee parents.
There is also a great need for more effective rehabilitation services for addictions as well as social housing that is affordable, safe and accessible in all communities.
The code of silence must end.The old attitude of 'we shouldn't get involved' must stop.- Rhonda Fiddler
We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.
Rhonda Fiddler is the missing persons liaison with the Regina Police Service. She has a degree in social work, and is a mother and grandmother herself.