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Unrestrained: W5


Catalogue Number:  CTV847
Producer:  CTV
Subject:  Abuse, Canadian Social Issues, Criminal Justice & Law, Current Events, Documentary, Health and Medicine, Psychology, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology, Violence, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2020
Running Time:  22:03


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In Canada, a woman is murdered every six days by an intimate partner. Lawyer and advocate Pamela Cross says,“a woman will leave an abusive relationship 12 times before she stays out for good. But I want to change the discourse from, ‘Why don’t women leave’ or ‘Why do women keep going back,’ to ‘Why does he keep abusing?’”

It’s a question that is not asked enough in the national discourse on the epidemic of violence against women. Intimate partner violence is one of the few violent crimes that is increasing in Canada. Too often it is seen as a woman’s issue, when in reality it is – by and large – a man’s issue. But there are few resources available in Canada aimed at getting men to stop abusing. And programs that show promise are often not being sufficiently funded.

The program features the stories of the recent deaths of two young women in Ontario, with opinions about how the system failed them. Their families mourn their loss, and wish they had done more to prevent these needless deaths. Some police departments are providing special training for officers who respond to calls involving domestic violence, but abused women are often reluctant to call police, either because of fear of the abuser, financial dependence or fear of losing dependent children. One counselling program called “Changing Ways” in London, Ontario is mandated for abusive men as a condition of bail, but its success is limited, partly due to cuts in funding. 

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