Domestic homicide review report to be released today, 5 months late

Original Article: CBC News |  May 24, 2018  |

The long-awaited provincial review of domestic violence deaths will be released Thursday, five months after it was due to be made public last December. 

The review panel studied six cases of domestic homicide which took place between 2004 and 2015. The panel consisted of the chief coroner, domestic violence workers and police officers.

Between 2005 and 2014, 48 people were killed in domestic homicides in Saskatchewan. Nine perpetrators died by suicide, for a total of 57 deaths.

Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence out of all the provinces. Jo-Anne Dusel, one of the panel members and the executive director of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), said there are many factors which contribute to this.

'We have some challenges in terms of having a boom and bust economy. We know that sometimes financial hardship can be related to a higher risk for domestic homicide," she said.

"We have people who have experienced intergenerational trauma. Indigenous people have suffered and that continues to haunt them today."

Dusel also mentioned the fact that in rural areas of the province it can be difficult for some people to access services and do so privately.

Dusel said the report contains recommendations that will be made public at 10 a.m. CST on Thursday. 

A permanent review panel?

Ontario has created a permanent domestic violence death review committee. Dusel said she thinks it would be a good idea for Saskatchewan to make a permanent entity as well. 

"I think the Ontario example really shows the benefit of reviewing every case and really understanding, building that level of evidence to show these are the common risk factors, these are the things we should be looking out for and here are methods that are proven to mitigate those risk factors," she said.

She also said it is important that the recommendations of the report actually be implemented.