Pivot to withdraw from Missing Women's Inquiry
Vancouver - Today Pivot Legal Society will hold a press conference to discuss the organization's withdrawal from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Pivot will be re-directing its attention to an affidavit project looking at women’s current experiences reporting violence in the Downtown Eastside.
What: Press conference to discuss Pivot's decision to withdraw from the Missing Women's Inquiry
When: Wednesday September 21st, 9:30 am
Where: Pivot Offices 121 Heatley Avenue, Vancouver (please note new address)
The government's failure to fund sex worker organizations, women's groups and Aboriginal groups to participate in the inquiry has led to Pivot's decision to withdraw. Pivot is also concerned about the lack of transparency in the process up to this point and the Provincial Government’s apparent lack of commitment to ensuring that this inquiry is as full and inclusive as possible.
“Since the Inquiry was called in 2010, there have been a number of government decisions that have effectively shut out many of the groups who lobbied most strongly for this inquiry. As a result, we have come to doubt the ability of the Commission to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry” says Douglas King, staff lawyer with Pivot Legal Society.
The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry will explore critical issues related to investigations into women reported missing from the Downtown Eastside between January 23, 1997 and February 5, 2002. Pivot believes that there is important information that could come out through the inquiry process, but there are also critical issues related to women’s current experiences with the police and criminal justice branch that are outside the scope of the inquiry.
“In the end our decision to withdraw came down to more than just our concerns about the integrity of the inquiry. It was also about our commitment to using our resources to achieve the most positive impact for marginalized women” says Pivot campaigns director Darcie Bennett.
Pivot is preparing to collect sworn statements from women to assess how much has changed for sex workers and other vulnerable women trying to report violence.
Doug King, Lawyer (778)898-6349