Emerging Issues, In the News

Part 6: Inquest Recommendations — Violence Interventions

September 20, 2022

Over the past two months, we’ve been exploring the 86 jury recommendations from the coroner’s inquest into the murders of three Canadian women – Nathalie Warmerdam, Anastasia Kuzyk and Carol Culleton. 

Our previous blogs in this series summarized several recommendation areas:

  • Accountability
  • Agency and government collaboration
  • Funding priorities
  • Public and professional education
  • Perpetrator interventions

We want to help you understand the results of this historic inquest and how we can hold our public institutions accountable to prevent similar homicides from happening again.

In today’s blog, we highlight the jury’s recommended measures around intimate partner violence (IPV) interventions:

Use Risk Assessments to Guide Decision-Making

The jury underscored the need to conduct risk assessments and to ensure that the information collected from them informs decisions related to bail, pleas, sentencing, and eligibility for Early Intervention Programs. Justice system personnel and IPV service providers should be co-trained on risk assessment frameworks.

Improve Collaboration with IPV Services

High-risk committees should involve local service providers and consider including IPV service providers who support perpetrators, in addition to representatives from the justice system. These providers should have appropriate access to sensitive information (provided with consent) to aid in decision-making.

Focus Interventions on Perpetrator Behaviour

The government should consider amendments to the Family Law Act to define when family courts can order counselling for perpetrators of IPV. Other policies should clearly and explicitly outline which circumstances (such as strangulation or high-risk situations) would disqualify perpetrators for early intervention programs and instead, should be subject to more serious consequences.

Our next blog in this inquest series will highlight IPV safety tactics in Canada.

Keep an eye on the NFF blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear first when we post updates on this series.