New Democrats call for bi-partisan support for victims of domestic violence

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VICTORIA— New Democrats are calling on MLAs on both sides of the house to support a bill that would protect the job security of victims of domestic violence.

“This bill would guarantee that those fleeing domestic violence have the ability to take a leave of absence from work, giving them the time that they need to move their family to safety,” said Maurine Karagianis, New Democrat spokesperson for women’s issues.

Women and men fleeing domestic violence often need to access support services or find a safe place to live, and that takes time, explained Karagianis. If victims feel that taking that time could mean that they lose their job – and become unable to support themselves and their family independently – that creates another barrier.

“If passed, the Employment Standards Domestic Violence Leave Amendment Act would mean that no one in this province would be forced to stay in a dangerous situation because of a fear that they would lose their livelihood,” said Karagianis.

“This is a simple, practical measure that could make a big difference; I hope the B.C. Liberals will put partisanship aside and put this bill up for debate. If MLAs on both sides of the house support this bill, it will show women and men fleeing domestic abuse that we stand with them and their families, and that we will support them in any way we can.”