VANCOUVER—A Vancouver girls’s shelter is looking on the provincial authorities to take fast motion to exchange Greyhound routes in B.C. which might be slated for elimination this fall in a bid to shore up the corporate’s declining earnings.
Tannis Larsen, a spokesperson for Vancouver Rape Reduction and Ladies’s Shelter, stated Greyhound’s announcement represents an amazing blow to the work her group does to help girls fleeing violence.
The service is commonly the one transportation for the ladies.
“It’s a necessary service,” she stated of the Greyhound routes which have served B.C.’s northern and inside communities for years.
“After I heard about (the routes being cancelled) my coronary heart sank, and everybody in our group stated, ‘What are we going to do?’”
Vancouver Rape Reduction usually arranges transportation for ladies leaving abusive conditions, stated Larsen.
And Greyhound has lengthy supplied a key hyperlink between native companies corresponding to taxis and a safer vacation spot, far-off from a lady’s abuser.
Greyhound has likewise served the transportation wants of quite a lot of smaller, extra remoted communities and concrete hubs all through Western Canada, and the cancellation of these routes — efficient Oct. 31 — has raised grave issues inside a lot of these communities.
The corporate blames its cancellation of routes in B.C. and the Prairies, in addition to northern Ontario, on a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010.
It blames “elevated competitors” from journey choices corresponding to carpooling and low-cost airways.
And not using a bus service to offer transportation away from abusive conditions, Larsen stated girls fleeing violence will likely be pressured to make an inconceivable determination — both keep the place their security is actively endangered, or put themselves in hurt’s manner by hitchhiking or utilizing a web based useful resource to catch a experience with a stranger.
And for Larsen, this case is unacceptable.
“The world must be safer for ladies,” she stated. “Their security from violence must be ensured.”
There are greater than 60,000 sexual or bodily assaults in opposition to girls in B.C. yearly — greater than 1,000 per week — based on statistics from the Ending Violence Affiliation of B.C. The affiliation says solely 12 per cent of sexual assaults in opposition to girls are reported to police.
And Larsen stated for a lot of girls, placing distance between themselves and their abuser is a vital step to establishing security within the fast interval after leaving an abusive relationship.
She additionally pointed to Greyhound’s long-time position in transporting folks from distant communities to bigger townships to entry therapy for drug or alcohol dependancy. Habit, stated Larsen, is one other issue that may preserve girls in abusive conditions.
On July 9, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena launched a press release expressing dismay over Greyhound’s announcement, calling its determination “massively problematic” for B.C.’s inside and northern communities, and noting it can “probably affect probably the most weak.”
Trevena stated she will likely be sitting down with different transportation suppliers to debate choices, however within the meantime hopes the non-public sector will fill within the gaps within the province’s transportation wants.
And whereas Larsen stated the federal government appears to be aware of the issues of weak communities, any lack of service will put girls’s lives straight in danger.
“What we actually need is for the federal government to take duty, not wait,” she stated. “There’s not sufficient time to attend.”
Perrin Grauer is a Vancouver-based reporter. Observe him on Twitter: @perringrauer