05 DECEMBER 2014
(FREDERICTON, NB) In marking the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6, David Coon, MLA of Fredericton South and Green Party Leader, calls on the provincial government to invest in therapeutic treatment for children and youth who have been witnesses to violence in their homes.
"If we are to ever break the cycle of men's violence towards women, we must focus our efforts on treating children, and our transition homes will need increased funding to do this," says Mr. Coon.
According to the State of The Child Report (p. 32-33) New Brunswick has a 37% higher rate of children and youths who are victims of family violence than the national average.
It is well established that boys who witness violence in the home are at a higher risk of committing violence against women in adulthood. Sixty-five percent of women seeking shelter in Transition Houses were witnesses to domestic violence as children.
"Children who witness violence in the home essentially suffer from PTSD and there is research demonstrating that this stress can actually effect their brain development," Mr. Coon said.
According to the federal Department of Justice, men's violence against women costs Canadian society $7.1 billion every year along with untold numbers of broken lives.
"Investment in the therapeutic treatment of children who have witnessed assaults committed against their mothers is essential to ending men's violence against women and scaling back the colossal costs this imposes on families and societies," Mr. Coon adds.
However, Mr. Coon notes that this will require new funding for transition houses that haven't seen an increase to their budgets in a decade.
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