OTTAWA: December 5th, 2017 – Violence against women experts will begin reviewing police cases involving sexual assault and intimate partner violence at seven pilot sites in Ontario and Alberta following today’s launch of the Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review project.
Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women Canada, joined the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC) and the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) this morning to announce the project’s pilot sites in Ottawa, Kingston, Stratford, Timmins, Peterborough, London and Calgary. Based on a model pioneered in Philadelphia, the new case review project is the first of its kind in Canada, with front-line survivor support workers, violence against women and legal experts reviewing police cases involving sexual and intimate partner violence.
It is estimated that fewer than 1% of sexual assaults experienced by women result in criminal convictions.
“This new case review model provides Canada with a crucial opportunity to improve how violence against women is addressed by the legal system,” says project lead and executive director of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, Sunny Marriner. “Today’s launch is the result of more than four decades of advocacy from front-line violence against women experts and survivors. Now, with financial support from Status of Women Canada and communities and police services working together, we are finally able to move forward.”
The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women will coordinate the project, with financial support from Status of Women Canada for three years of programming at the Ontario sites.
“Communities and police at our pilot sites have made a historic commitment to work together to strengthen accountability and transparency—improving police response to survivors when they report sexual and intimate partner violence,” says Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women executive director, Carrolyn Johnston. “This is an important element in a broader movement to end violence against women and gender-based violence, including prevention, education and support for survivors.”
The Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review project was announced ahead of the Dec. 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, marking the anniversary of the 1989 massacre at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal.
About the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre: The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC) supports and empowers women, gender-fluid, non-binary, and trans survivors. We work to build a stronger community response to sexualized violence and women's health. Est. 1974. A registered Canadian charity.
About the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women: The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals in the City of Ottawa and surrounding regions. Our members and partners include women abuse and rape crisis agencies; victim services; child protection services; representatives of area hospitals; representatives of the justice system, including the police, the Crown, and probation and parole services; health and counselling services; academic researchers; and other concerned community members.