Family violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) are serious public health issues and can have immediate and long-term consequences for victims and their families, including physical, mental, cognitive, and financial harms. In Park-Extension, great attention has been given to this issue by the Shield of Athena, officials of which have been interviewed regularly by Park-Extension news.
There was welcome news on Tuesday December 6th as, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that the Government of Canada is providing funding to the National Judicial Institute for judicial training on IPV and family violence in the family justice system. The National Judicial Institute is an independent, non-profit, judge-led organization that provides continuing education for federally, provincially and territorially appointed judges throughout Canada.
The Government of Canada is supporting the development of a national online course for judges in Canada on IPV and family violence in the family justice system. This course will be available to all judges in Canada with a particular emphasis on supporting provincial and territorial court judges who hear the majority of cases that come into the family justice system. The goal of this course is to provide judges with additional knowledge and tools to support increased access to services, address challenges that can arise for families navigating multiple court procedures, and promote work towards safe case outcomes for family members. The course will cover many topics related to IPV and family violence, such as myths and stereotypes, barriers victims face when disclosing or reporting violence, and services available to victims and their families.
The course will rely on the most recent studies on IPV and family violence to provide advanced training to judges across Canada and will also cover the 2019 amendments to Canada’s federal family laws related to divorce, parenting and enforcement of family obligations. These changes, which mainly came into force in 2020 and 2021, work to address family violence, promote the best interests of the child, help to reduce child poverty, and contribute to making Canada’s family justice system more accessible and efficient. Justice Canada is providing $869,861 over four years to the National Judicial Institute for judicial training on IPV and family violence in the family justice system through the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.
“Canadians should have the confidence that the justice system works well and that cases are decided fairly and respectfully. Continuing judicial education on IPV will help improve the family justice system by ensuring that judges have access to training that is relevant to contemporary research and the social context of IPV and family violence.” said David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada