YWCA Hamilton: Voices

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February 16, 2012 – Hamilton, Ontario. It is a sad day for public safety – especially the safety of women. Yesterday the Harper Government abolished the Long Gun Registry. Shot guns and rifles are the number one guns used in spousal homicides. In the last decade, 88% of spousal homicides involving guns were done so with a shot gun or a rifle. In isolated, rural communities there are fewer services available to women, childcare is often inadequate or non-existent, poverty and unemployment rates are higher and patriarchal attitudes are widespread. It is harder for women to name “abuse”, seek help or escape an abusive partner. For Canadian women who are most isolated, the long gun registry was one of the few tools offering them protection. The Long Gun Registry was used to set gun possession conditions and restrictions for people who have been charged with offenses. A coalition of Canadian Police Chiefs, RCMP, Emergency Room staff and national women’s organizations including YWCA Canada have also been very vocal in telling our government that the Registry lead to responsible gun ownership and that it did save lives. Our government didn’t listen. Today our most at-risk women have been put at greater risk.