Researchers have long pointed out that good policies are based on good data. But all too often reliable information about social problems just doesn’t exist, making it that much harder to come up with good solutions. Sadly, that’s the case with gender-based violence. Which is why a new policy by the Ontario Provincial Police to stop disclosing the gender of victims or suspects in news alerts is the wrong move. Researchers and the public rely on media reports to inform them about troubling trends that call for action. As the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concluded after conducting a study in 2013: “The difficulty of collecting data about violence against women has been a barrier to progress in ending that violence.” The same could be said about violence against transgender people. Last week, for example, the New York Times lamented that “the paucity of reliable data makes it difficult to measure whether violence against transgender people has increased.” The bottom line is that if gender-based violence isn’t measured, it can’t be addressed. Nor will it end. The OPP says it will continue to collect gender information for its own internal use. But it won’t make it public for fear that… Read full this story
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