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1,000 women in B.C. assaulted per week 0

By Erica Bulman, 24 Hours Vancouver

Mayor Gregor Robertson announces Vancouver's support for a campaign to end violence against women. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

Mayor Gregor Robertson announces Vancouver's support for a campaign to end violence against women. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

On the heels of the recent violent murders of SFU student Maple Batalia and young Surrey bride Ravinder Bhangu, the cities of Vancouver and Surrey on Wednesday declared support for a campaign to end violence against women.

The "Be More than a Bystander" program was launched in July and has gained ground as more partners are coming onboard.

The aim is "ensuring the generation coming up has a whole different attitude so that they're not bystanders . they're preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said.

There are more than 1,000 physical or sexual assaults against women each week in B.C., over 60,000 per year ¬- almost all committed by men, according to the Ending Violence Association of B.C.

"Imagine the difference if the majority of men who don't commit violence were to speak up to the minority of men who do," said EVA's Tracy Porteous.

"These are very real life and death issues," she added, citing the recent deaths of Batalia, gunned down Sept. 28 in a parkade; Bhangu, whose husband has been charged with first-degree murder; and Verna Simard, whose plunging death from the sixth-floor window of her DTES home is being investigated as a homicide.


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