Improve access to justice for Canadians through court training on intimate partner and family violence in the family justice system

OTTAWA, IN, December 6, 2022 /CNW/ – Family violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) are serious public health problems and can have immediate and long-term consequences for victims and their families, including physical, mental, cognitive, and financial damage. Furthermore, seeking justice can be difficult and re-traumatize those affected by IPV and family violence. Improving the accessibility and fairness of our legal system is critical to supporting victims and their families.

Today, the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canadaannounced that the Government of Canada is providing funds to the National Institute of the Judiciary 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 to federally, provincially, and territorially appointed judges throughout the country. Canada.

The government of Canada is supporting the development of a national online course for judges in Canada on IPV and intrafamily violence in the family justice system. This course will be available to all judges in Canada with special emphasis on supporting provincial and territorial court judges who hear the majority of cases that enter 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 may arise for families navigating multiple court proceedings, and promote work to obtain safe outcomes for members of the family. The course will cover many topics related to IPV and family violence, such as myths and stereotypes, barriers victims face in disclosing or reporting violence, and services available to victims and their families.

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The course will draw on the latest research on IPV and family violence to provide advanced training for judges around the world. Canada. Recognizing that IPV and family violence disproportionately affect certain populations and women in particular, the course will also reveal the impacts of intersectionality on meaningful access to justice. For example, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women are disproportionately at risk of IPV and family violence. Judges participating in the course will learn about the experiences of indigenous women, as well as the impact of colonization, residential schools, the child welfare system, systemic violence, intergenerational trauma, and other barriers that marginalized groups face when seek social or legal services.

The course will also cover the 2019 amendments to Canada federal family laws related to divorce, paternity, and fulfilling family obligations. These changes, which came into effect primarily in 2020 and 2021, work to address family violence, promote the best interests of the child, help reduce child poverty, and help make Canada more accessible and efficient family justice system.

Justice Canada is providing $869,861 for four years to the National Institute of the Judiciary for judicial training in IPV and intrafamily violence in the family justice system through the Alliance and Innovation in Justice Program.


“Canadians need to have 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 societal context of IPV and family violence”.

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The Honorable David Lametti, PC, KC, MP
minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“The National Institute of the Judiciary is the main national organization dedicated to the continuous training of federal, provincial and territorial judges in Canada. We appreciate this opportunity to develop training in French and English for Canadian judges on intimate partner violence in the family justice system. NJI has a long history of supporting the judiciary with education on basic skills, essential competencies, and the range of substantive and social context knowledge necessary to serve the public and support the administration of justice.

Justice tom crab
chief judicial officer
National Institute of the Judiciary

Fast facts

  • Intimate partner violence (IPV), also known as spousal or domestic violence, refers to multiple forms of harm caused by a current or former intimate partner or spouse. IPV can occur in any community, in any type of intimate relationship, including within a marriage, common-law or dating relationship, in a heterosexual or 2SLGBTQI+ relationship. It can occur at any time during a relationship and even after it has ended, whether the couples live together or are sexually intimate with each other.

  • Family violence is considered any form of abuse, maltreatment, or neglect that a child or adult experiences by a family member, or by someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.

  • Family violence can also have a profound effect on children. Children who are exposed to violence are at risk of emotional and behavioral problems throughout their lives, and these impacts are similar to those of direct abuse. Some of these consequences include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, poor educational achievement, difficulties regulating emotions, and chronic physical illness.

  • Women represent the majority of intimate partner homicide victims in Canadarepresenting 80% of people killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020. In 2020, 160 women were violently murdered in Canada. 40% of women report having experienced some form of IPV in their lifetime and 30% of all women over the age of 15 report having been a victim of sexual assault.

  • Although indigenous women represent around 5% of all women in Canadathey accounted for 22% of all women killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020.

  • While overall rates of family violence may not differ much between men and women, there are significant gender differences in the severity of the violence. In 2014, women were twice as likely as men to report being sexually assaulted, beaten, strangled, or threatened with a gun or knife. In contrast, men were three and a half times more likely to report having been kicked, bitten or hit with something.

  • justice of canada The Justice Innovation and Partnership Program (JPIP) provides matching funds for projects that support a fair, relevant and accessible Canadian justice system. JPIP supports activities that respond effectively to changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy. Priorities include access to justice, family violence, and emerging justice issues. JPIP’s long-term goal is to help increase access to the Canadian justice system and strengthen the Canadian legal framework.

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SOURCE Department of Justice Canada



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