National & Provincial Initiatives

In Canada we have many different sectors working to prevent domestic violence deaths through research, front line programming, death review committees, coroners' investigations, inquests and inquiries. Below is a list of select national resources and initiatives, as well as resources and news stories by region.

In the map below, you can click on individual province and territories to view resources and initiatives by region.

Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - New Brunswick - Newfoundland & Labrador - Nova Scotia - Northwest Territories - Nunavut - Ontario - Prince Edward Island - Quebec - Saskatchewan - Yukon - National Initiatives - Programs


Alberta

Domestic Violence Handbook: for Police and Crown Prosecutors in Alberta
The Domestic Violence Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors in Alberta provides an overview of research, best practices, and knowledge that is essential for experts in the justice system to have in order to provide an effective response to family violence. Topics include: defining domestic violence; outlining family violence initiatives in Alberta; understanding the victims and the abuser; vulnerable victims of domestic violence; best practices for police investigating domestic violence and Crown prosecutors addressing victim's issues; criminal harassment; dual charging; risk assessment; safety planning; civil orders; firearms; sentencing of offenders; and coordination and collaboration among police and Crown prosecutors.

Family Violence Death Review Committee: Annual Report to the Minister of Human Services
Alberta’s Family Violence Death Review Committee convened its first meeting on February 11, 2014, and established guiding goals to: understand the reasons for family violence deaths; understand where and how agencies and systems intersect and how they can better work together; determine the barriers to supports and services that the victim and perpetrator may have experienced; understand and make recommendations on how family violence can be prevented and reduced. The Committee identified six cases for in-depth review during the first year and assessed all 76 incidents of family violence-related deaths to provide information that establishes a clear picture of family violence in Alberta and to understand the work ahead.

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British Columbia

#SaySomething
In March 2015, the Province launched a social media and radio campaign to help end the silence on domestic violence – to encourage people to not stand idly by when they see signs that raise red flags, but rather to say something, educate themselves and learn safe ways to help. The official #SaySomething campaign ran throughout March via multi-language Facebook advertising and targeted radio spots; the website (www.saysomethingbc.ca) now lives on as a valuable resource on domestic violence and violence against women, including videos and images that can be shared, as well as a list of resources for people who need help or want to help others who may be in abusive relationships.

A Vision for a Violence Free BC
The BC Throne Speech 2014 promised a concrete plan towards ending violence against women, and The Violence Free BC Strategy (VFBC), released in February 2015, delivered on that promise. The VFBC strategy is a blueprint for addressing violence against women in B.C. over the next decade. It works in harmony with the BC’s Provincial Domestic Violence Plan, while taking a broader approach to understanding the complex and underlying factors that contribute to violence against women.

BC’s Domestic Violence Plan First Annual Report
This report predominantly reflects work completed during the year-one reporting period (April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015) of the British Columbia Domestic Violence Plan and includes some actions and initiatives that will continue into years two and three. In some sections, aggregate numbers are provided for a longer period of time to reflect work that has been underway in BC.

BC’s Provincial Domestic Violence Plan
In 2012/13, PODV met with key community anti-violence and government partners prior to leading the coordination and development of the cross-ministry three-year Provincial Domestic Violence Plan that was released in 2014. The plan focuses specifically on strengthening the systemic response to domestic violence and includes specific actions and timelines.

Domestic Violence Prevention and Reduction in British Columbia (2000-2010)
The Domestic Violence Prevention and Reduction report reviews domestic violence prevention and reduction initiatives in British Columbia from 2000 to 2010, and more recently. Topics include: an outline the review process for the report; terminology to describe domestic violence; statistical data on rates of domestic violence in Canada and British Columbia; the health, social, and economic costs of domestic violence; and the impact of witnessing domestic violence on children.

Honouring Christian Lee – No Private Matter: Protecting Children Living With Domestic Violence
On Sept. 4, 2007, six-year-old Christian Lee and four members of his family died in a murder/suicide. Peter Lee murdered his son Christian, his wife Sunny Park, his parents-in-law from Korea and then killed himself. The Representative for Children and Youth in British Columbia is responsible for reporting on reviews and investigations of deaths and critical injuries of children receiving reviewable services. This 2009 report, which made five recommendations, found that the systems of support for children and families exposed to domestic violence were not adequate to protect Christian and his family.

Honouring Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon – Make Their Voices Heard Now
This Representative’s investigation examined the lives and deaths of Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon, three B.C. children killed by their father, Allan Schoenborn, on April 6, 2008. A key message of this report was that each arm of the system of supports and protections for vulnerable children and adults in B.C. must be attuned to the risks for their clients, especially to children, and be prepared to refer to and accept referrals from other services. The Report makes eight recommendations. systemic change in the way we address domestic violence and mental illness.

Intimate Partner Violence in British Columbia, 2003-2011
British Columbia's Coroners Service, Ministry of Justice, prepared a report that describes domestic homicide cases in the province between 2003 and 2011. The report highlights key statistics such as type of incident, victim and assailant demographics, means of death, and the circumstances and motivation surrounding the homicides.

Keeping Women Safe: Eight Critical Components of an Effective Justice Response To Domestic Violence
The Critical Components Project Team of British Columbia developed a project with the goal of utilizing the most current research and experience to develop a framework to guide the development of a comprehensive, coordinated specialized justice system response to domestic violence in British Columbia. The team prepared a paper of their findings and recommendations. The paper identifies eight critical components of an effective specialized justice response to domestic violence: 1) managing risk and victim safety; 2) offender accountability; 3) specialized victim support; 4) information-sharing; 5) coordination among sectors; 6) domestic violence policy; 7) use of specialized expertise; and 8) monitoring and evaluation. Furthermore, the paper includes recommendations to help ensure the successful development and implementation of these critical components across British Columbia.

Report to the Chief Coroner of British Columbia: Findings and Recommendations of the Domestic Violence Death Review Panel
In 2010, the Domestic Violence Death Review Panel of British Columbia reviewed 11 incidents of domestic homicide, some dating back to 1995. The result of these case reviews were 19 recommendations that highlighted the need for collaboration, standardization, resources and training, coordination, information sharing, and community involvement in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Taking Action on Domestic Violence in British Columbia
In response to the 2012 Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) Report, 'Honouring Kaitlynne, Max and Cordon: Make their voices heard now', the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence Ministry of Children and Family Development prepared the report, 'Taking Action on Domestic Violence in British Columbia.' The report outlines an action plan for addressing domestic violence across the child and family servicing systems in British Columbia. The plan lays out key deliverables, actions and timelines that respond to the recommendations made in the RCY report and outlines the government's plan to improve and strengthen the response to domestic violence in the province with a clear focus on the safety of children, women, families and communities.

Violence Against Women and their Children in BC: 33 Years of Recommendations
This document is a summation of recommendations from reports on violence against women and children since 1979. The report identifies the risk, prevalence, and seriousness of domestic violence in British Columbia. What needs to be done to assist women and children who are victims of domestic violence, what can be done to prevent future violence, and how these changes can be implemented are discussed.

Violence Against Women in Relationships: POLICY, December 2010
The Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) policy was first developed in 1993 as a revision to the original 1986 Ministry of Attorney General Wife Assault policy in British Columbia. The VAWIR has been updated several times since 1993 with this current 2010 report being the most up-to-date. The purpose of the VAWIR policy is to ensure an effective, integrated and coordinated response to domestic violence from justice and child welfare and to provide the public with information about the complex criminal issue of domestic violence in the province.

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Manitoba

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee: Annual Report Executive Summaries
On June 16, 2010, the province of Manitoba established the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC). The purpose of the Manitoba DVDRC is to review homicides that occurred in the context of domestic violence in order to identify trends, risk factors and systemic concerns to prevent similar tragedies and recommend changes for improvement. Since the creation of Manitoba’s DVDRC, four reviews have been completed.

Manitoba's Multi-year Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy
In 2012, the Manitoba government released the province's multi-year domestic violence prevention strategy. The strategy outlines new supports for victims and families; interventions for abusers; and awareness, prevention, and training initiatives.

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New Brunswick

Domestic Homicide in New Brunswick: An Overview of Some Contributing Factors
This study reviews domestic homicide cases that occurred in New Brunswick between 1984 and 2005. Factors associated with higher risk of homicide are identified, including the risk of living in a rural community.

Domestic Homicide in New Brunswick (1999-2008)
Following the announcement in 2009 by the provincial government regarding the establishment of a domestic violence death review committee in New Brunswick, the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC) conducted a study on domestic homicide in the province. The study analyzed 32 cases of domestic homicide that occurred in New Brunswick over a 10-year period (1999-2008). The purpose of the study was to learn from domestic homicide cases in New Brunswick, identify the risk factors associated with domestic homicide, and determine the next steps that can be taken to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

Provincial Caring Partnerships Committee
Caring Partnerships is a network of New Brunswick communities that are taking grassroots action to inform and educate the public about family violence issues and solutions. Each community has created partnerships among local groups, businesses, service clubs, social agencies and individuals who are concerned about family violence and its insidious and widespread affects throughout society. The website provides information on family violence; conference reports and presentations; newsletters; and tools and guides for communities to start their own family violence awareness and prevention projects.

Domestic Homicide in New Brunswick: An Overview of Some Contributing Factors
This paper looks at domestic homicides of women in New Brunswick from 1984 to 2005. It examines factors associated with higher homicide risk for women and reviews the criminal justice system response.

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Newfoundland & Labrador

Members Appointed to the Child Death Review Committee, Government of NFLD Child, Youth & Family Services, News Release, March 24, 2014
This news release explains that the Provincial Government has established a Child Death Review Committee, following the recommendation of the Turner Review and Investigation Report. Cases of child deaths under 19 years of age will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee of experts from various disciplines, based on information provided by the Chief Medical Examiner. The ultimate goal is to prevent deaths and improve the safety of children.

Support for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and their Families
The webpage provides the names of missing or murdered women and children within the province. It notes that the unique history of Newfoundland & Labrador makes identifying those with Indigenous background difficult. Often there is a reliance on family and community members when identifying the ethnicity of the missing or murdered person, as this information is not contained in police and court reports or newspaper articles.

Violence Against Women in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Fact Sheet
This report highlights statistics on violence against women in Newfoundland and Labrador including the rate of domestic homicide.

Violent Deaths Spotlighting Domestic Violence, says Council, CBC News, Oct 25, 2013
The news article discusses domestic homicide cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, such as those involving victims Juliane Hibbs, Veronica Doyle, and Ann Marie Shirran. It explains that these incidents have initiated calls for help by other women facing similar circumstances. According to the president of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, most victims do not seek help. This is compounded by the elimination of the Family Violence Intervention Court, which will likely result in less women willing to testify against the abuse they face by their partners.

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Nova Scotia

A Statistical Portrait of Intimate Partner Violence: Nova Scotian and Canadian Perspectives
This report, released by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, provides a statistical profile of intimate partner violence in Nova Scotia and in Canada. The report highlights incidence rates, supports and services for victims, long-term consequences of intimate partner violence, police response to intimate partner violence in Nova Scotia, and statistics on offenders.

Domestic Violence Action Plan
In response to the 2009 report from the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee of Nova Scotia, the Government of Nova Scotia developed the Domestic Violence Action Plan. This plan outlines a range of actions that the government is launching in order to effectively respond to family violence in the province.

Report of the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee
In 2009, the Domestic Violence Prevention Committee of Nova Scotia submitted a report to the Deputy Ministers' Leadership Committee on Family Violence. The report contained several recommendations for responding to family violence in the province with specific attention to services for victims, prevention and public education, interventions for abusers, and judicial and legislative responses.

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Northwest Territories

“Coalition Against Family Violence Calls for Death Review Panel”, CBC News, February 3, 2016
The Coalition Against Family Violence calls for the Northwest Territories to create a death review panel to look at family violence deaths and the circumstances that led to them. The panel would review the responses of agencies and organizations that came into contact with the perpetrator and victim with a focus on prevention and accountability, identifying contributing factors and gaps.

Coalition Against Family Violence: Recommendations for Addressing Gaps, Shifting Attitudes, and Enhancing Services to Reduce Family Violence and Abuse
This report, released in 2011 by the NWT Coalition Against Family Violence, reflects on the progress made since the release of phase 1 and 2 of the NWT Action Plan on Family Violence. The report also identifies 19 recommendations for continuous improvement. The recommendations call for critical actions that will address gaps, shift attitudes, and enhance services in the area of family violence.

Government of the Northwest Territories Response to the NWT Action Plan on Family Violence (2003-2008)
In October 2004, the Government of the Northwest Territories released their response to the NWT Action Plan on Family Violence (2003-2008) which describes the actions they intended to implement in response to the 25 recommendations made by the Coalition Against Family Violence to address family violence in the Northwest Territories.

NWT Action Plan on Family Violence: 2003 - 2008
In 2003, the Coalition Against Family Violence NWT developed the first action plan to address family violence, 'NWT Action Plan on Family Violence (2003-2008'). The action plan was based on recommendations from research and consultations with frontline workers, government departments, community groups and the RCMP. The plan outlines 25 recommendations in the following areas: policy and legislation; collaboration and cooperation; capacity building; training; prevention; education and awareness; services; and monitoring, evaluation and accountability.

NWT Family Violence Action Plan: Phase II (2007-2012)
In 2009, the Minister of Health and Social Services NWT released the report on the second phase of the NWT Family Violence Action Plan. The second phase of the action plan focused more on enhancing and expanding the range of supports available for families affected by family violence. The goals of the action plan are to: build a system that provides safety for those impacted by family violence; increase public awareness and attitudinal change about violence against vulnerable populations; expand the partnerships between those working to decrease incidents of family violence; improve legislation and policy; improve the quality and number of services available across the NWT; increase skills with professionals and volunteers; continue to support school based initiatives that promote healthy relationships; and improve and coordinate services to children and youth.

NWT Family Violence Report Card, September 2013, First Edition
The Coalition Against Family Violence created A Family Violence Report to review services available as well as to identify gaps for families impacted by violence. Among other recommendations, the Report states, “Although we have improved in our capacity to collect information a centralized data collection system is required so that relevant data is readily accessible to researchers, front line workers, media and individuals seeking information on family violence. The NWT needs a fatality review committee.”

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Nunavut

Inuuqatigiitsiarniq Symposium Report, Iqaluit, Nunavut/January 17-20 2006
In January 2006, over 100 Nunavut community members met to discuss the issue of violence against women. During this symposium, 78 recommendations were made towards a strategy on violence prevention. This report provides an overview and details on these 78 recommendations.

Understanding Family Violence and Sexual Assault in the Territories, First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples
This report examines family violence and sexual assault offenses in the territories by reviewing Crown Prosecutor files from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2004.

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Ontario

Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence
The Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence was established in 2005 with a focus on understanding the impacts of social and legal responses to violence, specifically various forms of violence against women including intimate partner violence and sexual violence.  Through systematic and rigorous research, the Centre is working to create, mobilize, and promote new and existing knowledge about effective responses to violence. The Centre’s objective is to inform public policy that seeks to reduce and prevent violence and sustain violence prevention research in the future.  Dr. Myrna Dawson is the Director of the Centre.  She is a Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph.

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee
The Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) was established in 2002 in response to recommendations that arose from two major inquests into the domestic homicides of Arlene May and Gillian Hadley by their former male partners. The purpose of the committee is to assist the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario in investigating and reviewing deaths that occur in the context of domestic violence and form recommendations to help prevent similar tragedies in the future. Since its establishment, the Ontario DVDRC has published nine annual reports.

2003 Annual Report

2006 Annual Report

2009 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

2004 Annual Report

2007 Annual Report

2010 Annual Report

2013-2014 Report

2005 Annual Report

2008 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) Femicide List 2013
This is a list of women in Ontario who were murdered in 2013 as a result of gender-based violence.  A number of media sources were used to identify these women including The Toronto Star, CVC, CTV News, the Toronto Sun, the Huffington Post, smaller community newspapers and other internet sources.  This document was created in partnership with Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses and a fourth year sociology class with Professor Mavis Morton at the University of Guelph. If any women are missing from this list, please contact OAITH at 416-977-6619 ext. 2 or susan@oaith.ca.

Threat Assessment and Risk Management in Domestic Violence Cases: An overview of Ontario justice and community collaboration for 2010 and future directions
This report summarizes the proceedings from the conference 'Reducing the Risk of Lethal Violence. Collaboration in Threat Assessment & Risk Management: From Theory to Practice' that took place in Hamilton, Ontario on February 7th to 9th, 2010. The conference was funded by the Ontario Women's Directorate. The report summarizes the discussions about the challenges that impede collaboration on risk management; practical solutions to the barriers for information sharing posed by confidentiality requirements and potential action plans to advance collaboration on threat assessment and risk management in different jurisdictions.

Toward a Model for Integrated, Safety Focused & Child Centered Community Response to Domestic Violence
This report outlines a coordinated model designed to help integrate community interventions to protect child victims of domestic violence. The report provides an overview of the proposed model, how it was developed, the benefits of taking a coordinated approach, and how a coordinated response will enhance the safety of victims of domestic violence.

Transforming our Communities: Report from the Domestic Violence Advisory Council for the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues
'Transforming Our Communities' is a report from the Domestic Violence Advisory Council for the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues in the province of Ontario. The report outlines 45 recommendations intended to move forward the Ontario government's public policy direction to end violence against women. The Domestic Violence Advisory Council reviewed research and documents, commissioned its own research and received presentations from experts in violence against women in order to guide their work and ensure that systemic issues and strategies to address women's needs were reflected in the recommendations. The Council focused their recommendations to five key areas: access and equity for all women; the legal response to violence against women; education and training provided to professionals and the public; threat assessment and risk management; and child welfare.

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Prince Edward Island

Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention
The Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention was appointed by the premier of Prince Edward Island in December 1995. The mandate of the committee is: to coordinate the implementation of the provincial Family Violence Prevention Strategy; to ensure integrity of community participation is maintained; to ensure an evaluation component is in place; to develop a work plan; to promote the importance of resource allocations necessary for implementation of the strategy; and to communicate initiatives to ensure a high public profile for family violence prevention is maintained across the province.

P.E.I. Acts on Mother-Son Murder-Suicide Inquest Recommendations, CBC News November 19, 2015
This news story explains actions taken by the P.E.I. Legislature to improve the way the province handles high-risk child custody cases. It explains that one of the most important measures being introduced is a new hub model where four government departments (justice, education, health and social services) will work together in cases where there is family conflict and where a child could be at risk. The province is also developing a supervised service to help transfer children between parents in high-risk situations. An international domestic violence expert will be brought in to provide training on how to identify risk factors and prevent future, similar tragedies. 

PEI Murdered Women 1989-2009
Twenty years after the Montreal Massacre, the Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status of Women created a document that remembers and honours the eight women who lost their lives to male violence since 1989. Using court records and media reports, the document describes the circumstances surrounding these eight murders in order to dispel some myths about violence against women and gain knowledge to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

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Quebec

Criminalité dans un contexte conjugal au Québec
This report describes domestic violence offences, including domestic homicide, in the province of Québec in 2011. The report is in French.

Preventing Domestic Homicide of Women: An Intervention Guide
The overall purpose of 'Preventing Domestic Homicide of Women: An Intervention Guide' is to provide workers in community settings with improved assessment and intervention skills in order to prevent domestic homicides. This guide is based on information obtained from a research project, developed by the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes (CRI-VIFF), that examined how various types of service providers managed high-risk domestic violence cases. The Intervention Guide outlines strategies on how to manage high-risk cases and ultimately prevent domestic homicide. The guide is aimed at service providers, specifically shelter workers.

Rapport du comité d'experts sur les homicides intrafamiliaux remis au ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux et ministre responsable des aînés
In October 2011, the province of Quebec established the Committee of Experts on Domestic Homicides. The purpose of this committee is to analyze the extent of this issue in the province; identify best practices, services and tools available to assist in preventing domestic homicide; and form recommendations for the Minister of Health and Social Services. The committee underlines the crucial role of identifying high risk situations and the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders.

En Octobre 2011, la province de Québec a créé le Comité d'experts sur les homicides intrafamiliaux. Le but de ce comité est d'analyser l'ampleur de ce problème dans la province, d'identifier les meilleures pratiques, les services et les outils disponibles pour aider à prévenir l'homicide conjugal, et les recommandations du formulaire pour le ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux. Le Comité souligne le rôle crucial de l'identification des situations à haut risque et l'importance de la collaboration entre tous les intervenants.

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Saskatchewan

Domestic Violence Court
The Domestic Violence Court (DVC) is a therapeutic court that addresses domestic violence and offers the Domestic Violence Court Treatment Option. The DVC Treatment Option allows those who are willing to take responsibility for their actions, who elect to plead guilty, and who will receive a sentence that does not include jail time, to complete a counselling program for domestic violence and address any existing substance abuse problems. Saskatchewan’s Domestic Violence Courts are located in Regina, Saskatoon, and North Battleford.

Evaluation of Saskatchewan’s Children Exposed to Domestic Abuse Programs Final Report
This Report was prepared for the Department of Justice Canada Victims of Crime Initiative in 2008. It reviews relevant literature and evaluates Saskatchewan programs for children exposed to domestic violence to describe and assess the extent to which the programs address best practices. It also includes a community needs assessment to identify the key issues and strengths in local services available to address intimate partner violence, including groups for children/youth.

Sask. Domestic Violence Death Reviews Are Late But Important, Expert Says, CBC News, Oct 27 2015
This article features comments from Jo-Anne Dusel, Provincial Coordinator for PATHS Saskatchewan, on Provincial Justice Minister Gordon Wyant announcement that the province would develop a process to review deaths resulting from domestic violence.

Saskatchewan to Begin Reviewing Domestic Violence Deaths Oct 26, 2015
In late 2015, Provincial Justice Minister Gordon Wyant announced that the province would develop a process to review deaths resulting from domestic violence.

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Yukon

The Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO), Whitehorse, Yukon: Final Evaluation Report
This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the process and outcomes of the implementation of the Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO) in Whitehorse, Yukon. The DVTO program collaborates a therapeutic and intervention approach to domestic violence. The overall purpose of the report is to evaluate the effectiveness of the collaborative program in achieving its objectives, determine whether or not it is cost effective, and develop a method for replicating the program elsewhere in Canada.

Roundtable Set on Missing, Murdered Women, Whitehorse Daily Star, Oct 15 2015
According to statistics from the RCMP, there are more than 1181 missing and murdered Indigenous women between 1980 and 2012. In Yukon, there are 39 known cases. This article discusses a Yukon regional roundtable meeting on missing and Indigenous women the possibility of an inquiry into the cases of these missing and murdered women.

National Report Includes Missing and Murdered Yukoners Yukon News, May 24 2014
In May 2007, 19-year-old Angel Carlick disappeared. The RCMP has released a national report on missing and murdered indigenous women across Canada, based on data from 300 police forces. A total was cumulated of 1181 missing women between 1952 and 2012. Sixteen percent of female homicide victims and 11.3 percent of missing women are Indigenous women. Ten women were murdered in Yukon between 1980 and 2012. There is one unsolved murder and two unresolved missing person cases in Yukon involving Indigenous women. According to the Yukon Sisters in Spirit campaign, there are 38 missing or murdered women, indicating there is often a discrepancy between their numbers and what RCMP records reveal.

Inquiry design meeting #5: January 10-11, 2016, Whitehorse, Yukon
This Government of Canada webpage explains that the fifth engagement meeting of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls was held in Whitehorse on January 10th and 11th, 2016. Survivors, families, and front-line organizations from a multitude of Indigenous communities were in attendance. Discussions were generated about who should lead the inquiry and who should participate in it. Key issues pertinent to the inquiry and recommendations for further action that should be included in the final report were also discussed. A need to include traditional practices and ceremonies in the process was outlined by the participants of this meeting.

Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada: A Summary of Amnesty International’s Concerns and Call to Action
This report provides a summary of the research by Amnesty International on the violence faced by First Nations, Inuit, and Metis women and girls in Canada. Background information is provided, and it indicates that Indigenous women face a much higher likelihood than non-Indigenous women to report being victimized by violent crime.  There have been international concerns and calls to actions by human rights organizations with respect to the high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada. A national action plan is required to address the gaps that exist with respect to current policies, programs, and services. Elements of what would constitute a successful plan are discussed. A national public inquiry is necessary to expose the nature of this violence and ensure accountability for an effective response. The urgency in attaining the involvement of the federal government is made evident in the report.

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National Initiatives

Select Research Publications

Criminal Justice Outcomes in Intimate and Non-intimate Partner Homicide Cases
The article analyzed City of Toronto homicide cases from 1974-2002 to determine whether or not the criminal justice system treats those who are accused of killing an intimate partner differently than those who are accused of killing an individual with whom they have a distant relationship. The results show that there has been a change in verdict trends over time, such that those accused of killing an intimate partner were less likely to be found guilty in earlier years, than those accused of the same crime in more recent years. Possible reasons for the observed changes are discussed.

Enhancing Safety: When Domestic Violence Cases are in Multiple Legal Systems
This article identifies legal practices that enhance the safety of families throughout domestic violence proceedings, while simultaneously ensuring due process. The article is based on extensive previous research, which identifies the lack of support and safety given to the families involved in domestic violence cases by the legal system. The researchers developed a list of positive legal practices, and put forth a number of options and recommendations to heighten the safety of families.

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile
This report provides an overview of family violence in Canada in 2013. It outlines the extent and nature of the violence, as well as trends over time. It includes a specific discussion of intimate partner violence.

Gender Differences in Police-reported Violent Crime in Canada, 2008
This report provides an overview of the gender differences in victimization of violent crime in Canada.  The report includes a wide range of types of victimization including health; household income; sexual and physical assault; immigration; homicide; and hate crimes. The results show that in Canada in 2008 the rates of violent victimization were comparable for men and women; however, the nature of the victimization differs.

Homicide in Canada, 2012
This is the most recent report from Statistics Canada on homicide rates in the country. In 2012, there were 82 intimate partner homicides in Canada with the majority (83%) involving a female victim.  Intimate partner homicide accounted for 20% of all solved homicides in 2012. The rate for intimate partner homicide was highest among Canadians between 25 and 34 years of age. The majority of intimate partner homicides (46%) were committed by a current or former legal spouse. Five percent of intimate partner homicides in 2012 involved same-sex couples.

Interim Report Call into the Night: An Overview of Violence Against Aboriginal Women
The Standing Committee on the Status of Women began a study in 2010 on violence against Aboriginal/Indigenous Women. The goals of the study are to gain an understanding of the extent and nature of this violence, examine the root causes of the violence, and collaborate with Aboriginal/Indigenous women to provide recommendations for solutions. This report provides an overview of the research conducted from 2010-2011 and the findings to date. The report includes topics such as forms of violence, poverty, judicial response, opportunity for healing, and the continuum of housing.

Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Tools: A Review
This report provides a thorough description of the risk assessment tools available for intimate partner violence, as well as the issues that should be addressed when determining which assessment tool to be used. The report explains the use for the assessment tools in a variety of settings, as well as their strengths and limitations. The purpose of the report is to provide the reader with a better understanding of the assessment tools available and how assessors decide which tool to use in which situation.

Inventory of Spousal Violence Risk Assessment Tools Used In Canada
This report lists tools used to assess spousal violence risk in Canada. The report identifies available assessment tools and provides a description of their uses, strengths, and weaknesses.

Multi-disciplinary Perspectives on Preventing Domestic Homicides: A Discussion Paper from a Canadian Think Tank
On October 20-21, 2008, the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children hosted a national think tank on the review of Canadian domestic homicides. The overall objective of the think tank was to bring together multi-disciplinary perspectives from across Canada to share experiences in reviewing domestic homicides. This discussion paper summarizes the challenges to the death review process identified in discussions from the think tank and describes current promising practices that respond to these challenges.

National Trends in Intimate Partner Homicides, 1974 - 2000
In this report, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics compiled intimate partner homicide information from 1974-2000. The report assesses trends relating to the frequency of intimate partner homicide, the gender of the victim, the gender of the perpetrator, marital status of the victim and perpetrator, the use of weapons, prior criminal convictions, and a comparison of provincial statistics. After identifying the trends the report provides interpretation for the changes seen across the years.

The Case for Gun Control: Reducing Domestic Homicide
This report focuses on domestic violence and domestic homicide by evaluating victims’ risk. The researchers place primary emphasis on the presence of guns as a major risk for domestic homicide.  The report evaluates the role of the law in reducing victimization of domestic homicide. Lastly, the report identifies trends in domestic homicide in comparison to the implementation of stronger gun control laws.

The Justice Response to Domestic Violence: A Literature Review
This literature review is the product of two major research projects, and continues to be updated yearly as new research and data is collected. The literature review begins with an overview of domestic violence in Canada. The review then describes how both police and the court respond to domestic violence cases and the factors that influence their response. The literature review ends with an extensive report of how victims perceive the response of the court system in cases of domestic violence.

Violent Victimization of Aboriginal Women in the Canadian Provinces, 2009
Statistics Canada produced this report, which outlines the nature and prevalence of self-reported violence against Aboriginal/Indigenous women in ten provinces in Canada. The report further evaluates victims’ use of support systems, their likelihood to report victimization to police, and the consequences they face from the violent victimization. Lastly, the report examines Aboriginal/Indigenous Women’s perceptions of how safe they feel and how satisfied they are with the responses of the criminal justice system.

Voices of Our Sisters In Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities
The Sisters in Spirit is an initiative focused on addressing the alarmingly high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. This article provides an account of the lives of the missing and murdered women and girls from the perspective of their loved ones. The authors gathered information from the family members and wrote detailed stories of the lives of those victimized. The article concludes with an update of the statistics and research completed thus far by the Sisters in Spirit initiative. 

What Their Stories Tell Us: Research findings from the Sisters In Spirit Initiative
The Sisters in Spirit project is a research initiative focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada that has be ongoing since 2005. This report is a compilation of the research findings concluded thus far. The report addresses three main topics: (1) the root causes and trends in violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada; (2) the examination of the actual number of Indigenous women and girls who have been victimized in Canada; and (3), how and why the number of Indigenous women and girls victimized was able to rise alarmingly high without any connection from the police or justice authorities.

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Programs

The DisAbled Women’s Network Canada-Réseau d'Action des Femmes Handicapées du Canada (DAWN-RAFH)
DAWN-RAFH was founded in 1985 with the mission to end the poverty, isolation, discrimination and violence experienced by women with disAbilities and Deaf women in Canada. DAWN-RAFH works together with the women’s movement on issues that affect all women and to assist the movement in becoming more accessible to women with disAbilities and Deaf women. DAWN-RAFH provides research, outreach, and resources and acts as the voice of women with disAbilities and Deaf women in Canada.

Domestic Violence: Is There a Risk of Death? Neighbours, Friends & Families
The Neighbours, Friends & Families (NFF) campaign helps people to recognize the signs of woman abuse and learn how to provide support to an at-risk woman or engage with a man who uses abusive behaviours in order to encourage him to seek help. The campaign provides educational resources by way of websites, handbooks, videos, public service announcements, brochures, and training. The NFF website contains an informative page on the risk for lethality in the context of intimate partner violence (i.e., domestic homicide). This page provides an overview of the risk factors associated with domestic homicide; steps for an at-risk woman to safely leave an abusive relationship; information on how to support a woman in an abusive relationship; tips for recognizing, intervening, and preventing woman abuse at work; and other helpful resources.  

Proactive Resolutions
Proactive Resolutions works with organizations to build respectful workplaces. Their products help to prevent conflict, repair relationships that have been harmed by conflict, and protect people whose health and safety is threatened by conflict. Proactive Resolutions operates using standardized, evidence-based and integrated programs.

Spot the Signs - Jocelyn Coupal Domestic Violence Consultant and Speaker
Jocelyn Coupal develops and delivers innovative training and strategies that help individuals, communities and professionals to successfully address domestic violence and significantly reduce or eliminate domestic homicides. She was responsible for designing, establishing and managing the Langley Project, an innovative project that examined the impact of a collaborative best practices approach to the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases.

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