Quebec spotting bracelet criticized | The star

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Protection measures must be adapted to the realities of indigenous communities.

The advocacy of Quebec Native Women (FAQ) was expressed loud and clear in a press release responding to the provincial government’s announcement to launch a spotting bracelet initiative aimed at offering victims of domestic violence a new measure of protection. .

“Victims of domestic violence have been asking for the tracking bracelet for years and I am happy to see that their request has finally resulted in something concrete”, declared the outgoing president of the association Viviane Michel. “However, I call on the government to take the necessary measures to ensure that solutions are put in place to implement the project in the indigenous communities in a timely manner.”

The news unveiled last Wednesday, December 1, came ahead of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, marking the feminicides that took place in Montreal on December 6, 1989.

As the year 2021 draws to a close, the unofficial tally of homicides against women in Quebec stands at 18. Relevant actors said the urgency for increased initiatives to provide safety measures for women has been. intensified by this alarming wave of gender-based violence.

The $ 41 million project provides for the initial deployment of 16 tracking devices in the Quebec City region as of next March.

According to the draft, the accused will be required to wear the bracelet at all times, and the person whose accused has been ordered to stay clear will be provided with a device programmed to alert the person, if the accused grabs this is called an “alert” area.

As the accused would essentially violate the conditions, the authorities will simultaneously be alerted with police called to the homes of persons equipped with notification devices, in order to ensure their safety. A notification is also scheduled to alert authorities who will notify the accused if he approaches the person to be protected and thus enters what the province has called a “pre-alert” zone.

The project was launched almost a year after the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, announced that a feasibility study of the system would be carried out.

According to Guilbault, Quebec will be the first province to adopt such a system and among only six countries in the world to have it in place.

While expense has not been spared in developing the gadget, FAQ has stated that it still leaves considerable room for potentially dangerous loopholes.

“How will the alert zone around the victim be adapted in small communities where the offender may have limited choice to frequent the same places as the victim?” If the signal to the central office and to the police is sent through the cellular network when the offender crosses the alert zone, how can it be adapted to communities where cellular coverage is poor or nonexistent? reads the December 3 statement.

In addition to the challenges created by the devices, FAQ also asked how the government plans to increase the level of trust between Indigenous women and the police, who have a long history of violence.

At the press conference held by Guilbault, the minister said the project is an effort to “regain peace of mind” for women who are stuck in what she called a hell of domestic violence.

“If we can help women and give them back that peace of mind, the power over their own lives and their autonomy, it is priceless,” said Guilbault.

In light of the significant obstacles highlighted by FAQ, the organization called on the Ministry of Public Security, the Secretariat for the Status of Women and all the stakeholders concerned to address the issues around a table with Indigenous organizations and representatives.

By requesting concrete action from FAQ, Michel insisted on the fact that time is running out.

“The rate of victims of domestic violence is higher than the average for Aboriginal women and especially within communities; we have to act quickly. ”

laurence.b.dubreuil@gmail.com

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