Women in the Downtown Eastside are particularly vulnerable to violence, injury, and death. Crime statistics for this area of the city have never truly reflected the danger and jeopardy facing the women who live there. Whether the cause is fear of reprisals or general distrust of authority, women have been traditionally reluctant to report crimes against themselves and others.
The SisterWatch Project began in December 2010 following the tragic death of Ashley Machiskinic three months earlier. This multi-faceted initiative is designed to combat violence against women in the Downtown Eastside and make the community safer for everyone who lives and works there.
The SisterWatch Reward
A reward, dubbed the SisterWatch Reward, for any information concerning the sudden death of Ashley Machiskinic, who fell from a window of a hotel on Hastings Street on September 15th, 2010. The reward will be up to $10,000 for information that proves conclusively how and why Ms. Machiskinic fell from the window. The Vancouver Police Board approved the reward in the belief that it would prompt individuals to come forward with any relevant information.
The SisterWatch Tip Line
A special telephone hotline has been established, staffed by civilian women who are trained professionals in assisting callers who may be distraught, nervous or afraid. Anyone with information about crimes against women, information about the death of Ashley Machiskinic, or any other matter affecting the safety of those in the Downtown Eastside, is encouraged to call the Sister Watch Tip Line.
SisterWatch Town Halls
There will be regular community gatherings sponsored by the Vancouver Police where residents will be encouraged to share their concerns. The Vancouver Police commits to regular meetings under the SisterWatch Project to help keep the residents informed about police progress in the investigation of crimes and advances in community safety.
December 5, 2013 - Project Rescue: Two Men Sentenced Media Release
September 29, 2011 - Martin Tremblay is charged with seven new offences. Media Release
April 26, 2011 - The video SisterWatch - A Shift in Thinking is released, showing the effect the initiative has already had in the community.
February 11, 2011 - Vancouver Police announce further arrests. Media Release
January 27, 2011 - Vancouver Police have made significant arrests in two projects aimed at making life safer in the Downtown Eastside. Media Release