→ Government reports, “Discussions have been initiated with Policy Board by the Minister of Justice and Public Safety and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.” The Advisory Council is waiting hopefully to hear the results of these discussions.
→ In the time since Justice Options for Women recommended a PEI family violence court option, both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have proceeded with implementing domestic violence courts; in fact, the court in Moncton has been made permanent after a successful pilot project. The Advisory Council asks: Is there anything that our neighbouring provinces learned that could help PEI meet implementation challenges?
↗ In the absence of a domestic violence court option, Justice and Public Safety is undertaking some good work. Advisory Council members value steps government has taken to address challenges faced by families who have to deal simultaneously with the family and criminal justice systems. Council members also value updates to the Family Violence Act to include same-sex relationships. Other changes to this Act improve recognition of protection orders between provinces/territories to protect victims of violence. The Department is also working towards a system to link civil and criminal orders in family violence cases involving children.
→ A reminder of the value and importance of using and improving tools available through the Victims of Family Violence Act: Women in PEI: A Statistical Review reports that women victims receive at least 95% of Emergency Protection Orders.
→ Advisory Council members suggest it may be time for government to consult the community about community partnerships to support development of a domestic violence court option.
Steps towards a domestic violence court option: C-
This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2011 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2011 and based on information updated to May 30, 2011. The Advisory Council is republishing one area of assessment each week on this blog. For more information, visit the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website.