Victim Matters - Victims of Violence

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Victim Matters - Victims of Violence
“VICTIM MATTERS”
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3
A TRADE JOURNAL
Welcome to the January issue of Victim Matters, a publication of
Victims of Violence. Happy New Year!
Please share this publication with colleagues and friends, or
have them sign-up to receive it by emailing
[email protected]
Victim Matters would not be possible without Funding from
the Department of Justice Victims Fund.
Department of Justice
Canada
Ministère de la Justice
Canada
IN THIS ISSUE…
VICTIMS VOICE:

HOPE COMES TO LIFE by Sylvie Teague
LAYING DOWN THE LAW:

PUTTING VIOLENT OFFENDERS BEHIND BARS: CONDITIONAL
SENTENCES AND AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE ARREST
EXPANDING THE HEADLINES:

SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION: ABORIGINAL VICTIMS
BLAST FROM THE PAST:

Views – expressed or implied – in Victim Matters are not
necessarily those of the Department of Justice.
FOCUSING ON VICTIMS OF CRIME: CREATING THE POLICY
CENTRE FOR VICTIMS ISSUES
SPOTLIGHT:


VICTIMS VOICE
HOPE COMES TO LIFE
OVERCOMING ABUSE: SHELDON KENNEDY’S STORY
THE CROWN WITNESS COORDINATOR PROGRAM: ASSISTING
CANADA’S NORTHERN VICTIM/WITNESSES
By Sylvie Teague
The warm sunny days of summer had quickly disappeared to welcome
September and the changes it would bring. The start of a new school year,
new beginnings and it all seemed so promising.
It was Labour Day and we invited Carey and Jenny to join us for a late
breakfast and to spend some time together before work and school life
took over much of our spare time. We arrived at one of our favourite
restaurants and were seated by the window. As we engaged in a game of
hangman we were able to enjoy each other’s company and observe the
passersby.
During our discussion, we came to understand that over the past week
leading up to the start of school, that at work, Jenny had been working
the closing shifts. She was now trying to juggle sleep, school, closing
duties and now brunch with her family. While Carey and his dad carried
on quite the conversation, Jenny and I were involved in one of our own.
From our conversation, I also learned that she hadn’t been getting much
sleep. I asked if she had explained to her supervisor that she was still in
school. It turns out that they had just recently assigned her to closing
duties every night since the others, with more seniority, had also gone
back to school. At the end of the conversation, we both agreed that she
could not continue closing every night and expect to function well at
school. We also agreed that she needed to be careful walking home at
that time of night.
We didn’t know then, that this day, Monday, September 06, 2005 would
be the last time the four of us would share such a great day together.
Three days later, the promise of a bright future would seemingly be
shattered by one late night phone call. When the phone rang, I was
suspicious that there was a problem. Jenny’s mom had called but we
never envisioned anything tragic. Usually it was something that
could easily be resolved. We learned that Jenny had called her
mom when she was on her way home but somehow she never
arrived. Needless to say, it was impossible to sleep that night.
On Friday morning Ed left work after only being there a few
minutes and went to Jenny’s home to find out what was
happening. Jenny’s mother had called the police to report her
disappearance and Ed took a current photo of his baby girl to the
police station in their community. This location would then
forward the photo to the missing persons division. Being a
concerned father and somewhat apprehensive, he had expected
some comfort in knowing that the police were now involved.
Unfortunately, the reception he received was less than comforting
and the police officer serving him showed little or no interest in the
dire situation. He informed Ed that his daughter being 18 years, 2
months and 8 days old was an adult and had a “right to be
missing”.
Needless to say the first encounter with law
enforcement was a little distressing.
We weren’t sure what that really meant. Maybe it was just poor
choices of words. The local radio station was then contacted and
informed of the missing person’s police report.
Receiving no immediate help from the police, Ed picked me up
from work and we took to the streets walking the path Jenny
would have taken home – retracing her steps. We asked
permission to look in a church basement. What were we expecting
to find? Honestly, I didn’t know but we had to take the chance. All
we found were a couple rooms full of innocent little children in a
Continued on Page 2
Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children
340-117 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5X3
1-888-606-0000
1
daycare. We searched the entire church yard and surrounding areas
while trying to hang on to our hope. We continued the search down by
the train tracks trying to keep a keen eye for anything that looked out of
place or strange and again found nothing.
We went to the corner store where Jenny was last seen and obtained
the security video from the manager. We then went to visit a close friend
to talk and figure out how to view the surveillance tape. While there, the
radio made several announcements about the missing Barrhaven
teenager. The missing persons division also called Ed’s cell phone and
asked us to bring them the tape. We arrived after 6pm, handed over the
tape and the officer we dealt with, informed us that Jenny’s photo
submitted earlier in the morning would not arrive until Monday at which
time they could start their investigation. He insisted that Jenny was just
partying with friends and patted the stack of files on his desk to show us
how busy he was. Had it not been for a number of phone calls made
earlier in the day, we may not have had any assistance. While with the
officer, his phone rang and the voice on the other end caused him to
quickly discard the cavalier attitude, sit up in his chair immediately and
take note of the missing Barrhaven teenager, Jennifer Teague.
What a difference in his tone once he got off the phone. During the
telephone conversation, he pulled out her file from the bottom of the
pile and actually opened it to view its contents with some earnestness.
All of a sudden, we were getting somewhere. It looked as though all
those prayers and phone calls for assistance placed earlier in the day
were now taking effect. That evening we left the police station with
confidence that something was being done at last. Without our faith, we
may have lost hope considering the reception we had been receiving.
That same night, around 9pm Ed gave his first plea on one of Ottawa’s
local television station for Jenny to come home or for someone to come
forward with information.
The next morning things were different. Before noon, a command post
was set up directly across from the path where Jenny was believed to
have gone missing. It was in the parking lot of the United Church whose
property we had also searched the previous day. Our determination
initiated the largest search operation the nation’s capital had seen in
thirty years with helicopters, search lights, tracking dogs, divers and
officers in hip waders. Volunteers from every law enforcement group and
citizens came out to help. Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for
Missing Children (VOV) had already begun to help by creating posters
and banners and placing them where they were most visible to bring
awareness.
Although you can never make sense of a tragedy such as this, with help
and the proper services you can learn to cope until you can learn to live
life again. We met Gary and Sharon of VOV and they took the time to
share their story with us. Being able to share with people who had been
where we were at that moment sure helped in figuring some things out.
Dealing with the media, the police and this looming tragedy now a part
of our lives, we would need guidance.
Once the command post was set up, a whirlwind of help from
everywhere ensued. We met with the Chief of Police, a Detective
Sergeant of Major Crimes and his partner at the United Church. They
took the time to explain what we were dealing with and their role in
great detail. Their approach gave us confidence that they were now
taking Jenny’s disappearance seriously.
Immediately the Ottawa Police Victim Crisis Unit assigned our family
two counsellors as they were dealing with two households. One for
Jenny’s mom and brothers, and the other for Ed and I. Because of
our faith, they tried to assign us a grief counsellor who could best
understand us and work with us through this crisis. She was
absolutely amazing.
The Police public relations officer working on the case and the lead
detective were great resources for Ed when it came to speaking
with the reporters. Although they never vetted his words, they were
able to direct him in the types of questions he may be asked and
things he may want to avoid saying or traps he may want to avoid
altogether.
During the six days of intense search they kept us informed with at
least one briefing daily. Despite the failure of the search to yield any
clues to end our nightmare, we still held to our faith as our friends,
family and community continued to support us and pray for us.
Although shattered when Jenny’s body was found, we knew we had
to find out who did this. The Chief of Police and the investigating
team assured us that they would not let Jenny’s case become a cold
case.
For nine months we waited for answers as we tried to re-enter a
shattered world and live again. Throughout this time, the lead
investigator would contact us from time to time to give us an
update and answer any questions or concerns we had. We never
had to worry about hearing updates on the news first. The ongoing
contact with the police gave us confidence that they were actively
working on Jenny’s case and seeking answers to our unanswered
questions.
When Kevin Davis turned himself in and the investigative team was
certain the individual in their custody was the right person they
called us immediately and arranged for a meeting with our family.
Although it was about one o’clock in the morning when we met for
the briefing we were thankful that we were informed prior to the
media announcements.
On the afternoon of Davis’s arraignment, Ed wanted to attend so he
could get a glimpse of this cold heartless individual who stole the
life of his baby girl. Not knowing how a grieving heartbroken father
would respond to seeing his daughter’s murderer for the first time,
a representative from Victim Services offered to drive us to the
courthouse and attend the hearing with us. I was so grateful for the
gesture, and it always stands out in my mind.
It took about 7 months to bring us to trial from the day charges
were laid. During those 7 months we never had to wonder what was
happening. The detective was in contact with us regularly.
Sometimes there were delays in hearings or reports in the news
that could have discouraged us but he would call to give clarification
and encouraged us by assuring us the case was solid.
As we approached the final trial date, we had several meetings with
the Prosecutor who took the time to explain her role and what we
could expect from her as well as the judicial process. She was caring
and sympathetic to Jenny’s family and friends who all had been
impacted by this horrific crime. On the day of the trial, she reviewed
the processes with us and also informed us of the content of the
confession, giving us time to absorb what we would later hear in the
courtroom.
Continued on Page 3
Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children
VICTIM MATTERS
Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
2
Jenny’s murder was a crime against our family, not just Jenny herself. By
the police and the judiciary not keeping us at arm’s length, I believe we
experienced certain level of reduced anxiety and far greater satisfaction
with the entire process. We know for certain that everything that could
have been done to find Jenny and then her murderer was in fact done.
We have not been left with any unanswered questions about the
investigation or the final outcome of the confession at the trial.





LAYING DOWN THE LAW
PUTTING VIOLENT OFFENDERS BEHIND BARS:
CONDITIONAL SENTENCES AND AMENDMENTS TO
HOUSE ARREST
In 1996 conditional sentences were introduced to the Canadian
criminal justice system with the passing of Bill C-41. Sections 742 to
742.7 of the Criminal Code outline the specific details of a conditional
sentence, defining it as a sentence that the offender serves in the
community - as opposed to in prison. Within the sections mentioned
above, specific guidelines are provided to guide judges in their
understanding of when a conditional sentence may be an appropriate
sentence to impose. These guidelines are found under section 742.1
of the Criminal Code, and are described as follows:
 The offence for which the person has been convicted must
not be punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment;
 The sentencing judge must have determined that the offence
should be subject to a term of imprisonment of less than two
years;
 The sentencing judge must be satisfied that serving the
sentence in the community would not endanger the safety of
the community; and
The sentencing judge must be satisfied that the conditional sentence
would be consistent with the fundamental purpose and principles of
sentencing, as set out in sections 718 to 718.2.
The Criminal Code also outlines specific conditions that an offender
must meet when serving a conditional sentence. Section 742.3 (1)
outlines these conditions, which are defined as ‘compulsory
conditions.’ These conditions are deemed compulsory because they
are included in every conditional sentence that is handed down by a
judge:
 Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
 Appear before the court when required to do so;
 Report to a supervisor when required;
 Remain within the jurisdiction of the court, unless written
permission to go outside that jurisdiction is obtained from the
court or the supervisor; and
 Notify the court or the supervisor in advance of any change of
name or address, and promptly notify the court or the
supervisor or any change of employment or occupation.
There are several other common restrictions that can be imposed
based on the judge’s discretion. These types of restrictions are
imposed on a case-by-case basis, and are defined as ‘optional
conditions.’ These conditions are outlined in section 742.3(2) of the
Criminal Code:
Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children
Abstain from the consumption of alcohol or other
intoxicating substances, or the consumption of drugs
except in accordance with a medical prescription;
Abstain from owning, possessing or carrying a weapon;
Provide for the support or care of dependants;
Perform up to 240 hours of community service over a
period not exceeding 18 months; and
Attend a treatment program approved by the province.
A judge may use his or her discretion to decide if they want to
impose some, all, or none of these optional conditions when
delivering a conditional sentence. Their decision is rendered with
the main objective preventing the offender from committing
another criminal act while in the community. The judge also has
the opportunity to impose any other optional conditions that the
court considers to be reasonable and desirable to ensure good
behaviour from the offender while they are in the community.
If an offender should breach any of the compulsory or optional
conditions that are attached to their sentence, there are four
potential outcomes. One possibility is the removal or addition of
certain optional conditions to the sentence, based on the judge’s
discretion. Another possible outcome is that the judge may
decide to suspend the conditional sentence temporarily, and
impose a term of imprisonment before releasing the offender
back into the community to serve the rest of their conditional
sentence. Once released from prison, the judge may decide
whether or not he or she deems it appropriate to make any
changes to the original optional conditions imposed for the
duration of the conditional sentence.
There are two other possible outcomes for a breach of
conditions. Depending on the severity of the breach, the judge
could decide to terminate the conditional sentence altogether
and sentence the offender to serve the remainder of the
sentence in prison, as opposed to in the community. On the
other hand, the judge could also decide to take no action at all
against a breach of conditions. Again, this comes down to the
judge’s discretion.
Historically, there have been many examples of offenders who
have committed serious, violent crimes and received a
conditional sentence as punishment for the crime. One landmark
case was the case of R. v. Proulx. Jermoie Proulx was convicted of
dangerous driving causing death and injury after driving while
intoxicated. One passenger of the vehicle he was driving was
killed, while the driver of the vehicle he struck was seriously
injured. For this crime, Proulx originally received a sentence of
incarceration; however on appeal the court overturned this
decision so that Proulx served the remainder of his sentence in
the community.
In addition to this is the example of R. v. Bhalru and R. v. Khosa
in which both defendants were found guilty of criminal
negligence causing death after the two were caught street racing
and causing the tragic death of an innocent pedestrian. Both
defendants received a conditional sentence of two years less a
VICTIM MATTERS
Continued on Page 4
Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
3
“CHRONIC AND VIOLENT OFFENDERS ROTATE IN AND OUT OF
THE CORRECTIONAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS, CREATING A SENSE
OF FRUSTRATION AMONG POLICE PERSONNEL AND FOSTERING
UNCERTAINTY AND FEAR IN OUR COMMUNITIES… THIS IS A
POSITIVE STEP TO ADDRESS THE REVOLVING DOOR JUSTICE
SYSTEM AND INSTIL MEANINGFUL AND PROPORTIONATE
CONSEQUENCES FOR SERIOUS AND VIOLENT CRIMES.”
-
VICTIM MATTERS
Charles Momy, President of the Canadian Police Association on Ending
House Arrest for serious crimes
day, followed by three years of probation. The sentence also had
optional conditions attached as well. These conditions were house
arrest, and 24 hours of community service to be completed in 18
months. The defendants also received a five-year driving prohibition
as part of their sentence.
o
A conditional sentence being imposed typically means the offender is
still able to attend work or school, but with certain restrictions
imposed on them. One of the potential restrictions is having a curfew
placed on the offender, or only being able to leave their house for
certain purposes – such as work. This is known as house arrest. The
sentence explicitly states when and why the offender is allowed to
leave their house, and for those purposes only. However, with the
introduction of Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Community Act,
amendments were introduced that effect what offenders are eligible
for conditional sentences.
o
o
The Conservative government promised to get tough on crime and
advance victims’ rights during the last federal election, and have
succeeded in doing so by incorporating the Ending House Arrest for
Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders
Act. This act amends section 742.1 of the Criminal Code, which as
discussed previously outlines when a judge is able to impose a
conditional sentence on an offender. This amendment introduces
legislation that eliminates the possibility of a conditional sentence for
certain serious crimes. Now, section 742.1 states that a judge can
impose a conditional sentence when:
 The court is satisfied that the service of the sentence in the
community would not endanger the safety of the community
and would be consistent with the fundamental purpose and
principles of sentencing;
 The offence does not hold a mandatory minimum sentence of
imprisonment;
 The offence is not an offence for which the maximum term of
imprisonment is 14 years or life;
 The offence is not a terrorism offence, or a criminal
organization offence, for which the maximum term of
imprisonment is 10 years or more
 The offence is not an offence that carries a maximum term of
imprisonment of 10 years, that
o
Resulted in bodily harm
o
Involved the import, export, trafficking or production of
drugs, or
o
Involved the use of a weapon; and
 The offence is not an offence, prosecuted by way of indictment,
under any of the following provisions
o
Section 144 (prison breach)
o
Section 172.1 (luring a child)
o
Section 264 (criminal harassment)
o
Section 271 (sexual assault)
o
Section 279 (kidnapping)
o
Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children.
o
o
o
Section 279.02 (trafficking in persons – material
benefit)
Section 283 (abduction)
Paragraph 334(a) (theft over $5000)
Paragraph 348(1)(e) (breaking and entering a place
other than a dwelling-house)
Section 349 (being unlawfully in a dwelling-house)
Section 435 (arson for fraudulent purpose)
This act was passed as part of Bill C-10, which received its
royal assent on March 13, 2012. The Ending House Arrest for
Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent
Offenders Act came into force on November 20, 2012. As a
result of this amendment, the government of Canada has
demonstrated their consideration for community safety, and
also their desire for justice against those who commit criminal
acts. As the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Rob Nicholson stated in reference to this specific act, “house
arrest should not be available for offenders of serious crimes
like sexual assault, kidnapping, and human trafficking. Those
who commit these violent crimes must serve their time behind
bars, not in the comfort of their homes and that is exactly the
issue this legislation corrects.” 
For general information on conditional sentences, please visit:
http://lawfacts.ca/node/68.
For more information on the recent changes regarding conditional
sentencing and a list of ineligible offences, please visit:
www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32812.html.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0544
-e.htm
SPOTLIGHT
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0544
OVERCOMING ABUSE: SHELDON
-e.htm
KENNEDY’S STORY
Sheldon Kennedy was born on June 15, 1969 in Brandon, MB.
He began excelling at hockey at a young age. In 1985 he began
playing with the Winnipeg South Blues, and for the 1986
season with the Swift Current Broncos. In 1989, at the age of
20, he was drafted into the NHL where he played for several
teams until 1997. Kennedy was also on Canada’s gold medal
winning team in the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championships.
In 1997 after an ATV accident that badly injured his leg and
ended his NHL career, Kennedy made the decision to speak
out- and would become known for something entirely different
than a professional hockey player. Kennedy disclosed to the
public and the police that he was sexually abused for five years
as a teenager by his junior hockey coach, Graham James. In
1998, James pled guilty to sexually assaulting Kennedy and
VICTIM MATTERS
Continued on Page 5
Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
4
“THE COACH IS SO RESPECTED. YOUR PARENTS SEND
VICTIM MATTERS
YOU AWAY AND SAY, ‘DO WHAT HE SAYS.’ AT THAT
AGE, YOU LISTEN. THAT’S YOUR FIRST STEP IF YOU
WANT TO PLAY PRO.”
- SHELDON KENNEDY
another of his teammates on 350 separate occasions. He was
sentenced to three and a half years in prison and was paroled after
completing only 18 months of his sentence in 2001.
Since the disclosure of the sexual abuse Kennedy suffered as a teen,
he has become an advocate and spokesperson for violence and abuse
prevention programs across Canada. In an effort to raise awareness
and money for abuse prevention, Kennedy established the Sheldon
Kennedy Foundation. In the summer of 1998 Kennedy rollerbladed
across Canada to raise money to create a ranch in B.C that would help
abused children. Over his four month long journey, Kennedy raised
approximately one million dollars, but unfortunately, this amount
was considerably short of the fifteen million dollars required to
establish the ranch. Consequently, Kennedy decided to donate the
proceeds of the campaign to the Canadian Red Cross and its abuseprevention program.
After the summer of 1998, Kennedy disappeared from the public
spotlight for awhile. While the public would only learn later, Kennedy
had been struggling for a long time with substance abuse issues, and
spent a few years after that summer in rehabilitation programs.
Kennedy now acknowledges that at the time of his fundraising
efforts, he was going through a lot. The years of sexual abuse coupled
with years of substance abuse meant that Kennedy had a lot of things
to work through on his road to recovery. He couldn’t fulfill the role of
being a poster boy for preventing child sexual abuse because he had
so much healing to do himself.
After a few years out of the spotlight, Kennedy’s next endeavour
came in the form of co-founding an organization that provides
empowering on-line education for the prevention of abuse, bullying,
and harassment. Respect Group Inc. was formed in 2004, and has
since certified over 200,000 Canadians on the prevention of abuse,
bullying and harassment. Evidence of the organization’s success can
be seen in the adoption of Respect Group Inc.’s programs by large
associations such as Hockey Canada, Cross Country Ski Canada,
National Karate Association of Canada, Hockey Manitoba, Baseball
Alberta, and many more.
extended the time a person had to wait to apply for a pardon
from three years to five years for a summary offence and from
five to ten years for an indictable offence, and changed the
term “pardon” to the term “record suspension.” Kennedy
participated at the committee stage of the Bill by speaking
about his experiences as a survivor of child abuse. To Kennedy,
pedophiles should never be pardoned; the harm they have
caused is just too great. He stated, “Children who are
victimized spend a lifetime trying to explain what happened to
them and working to restore their emotional well-being.
Meanwhile, perpetrators get pardoned.”
Regarding the pardon terminology issue, Kennedy testified that
pardoning an offender implied offenders had been forgiven,
something that only victims and their families could ever do,
not the Parole Board of Canada. Additionally, Kennedy felt the
new term “record suspension” more accurately reflected the
fact that when a person’s criminal record is cleared via a
pardon, it can be restored should the offender reoffend (ie. it is
suspended and not completely discarded).
Bill C-23 did not pass the final reading in the House of
Commons because of the Federal election in 2010; however it
was incorporated into Bill C-10, the Omnibus Crime Bill of 2012.
Kennedy also had a chance to speak about his experiences in a
Senate committee on that Bill, which received royal assent and
became law in March of 2012. Thanks in part to Kennedy’s
testimony and publicity work regarding Bill C-10, provisions
originally contained in Bill C-23, in addition to new mandatory
In 2007 Graham James received a pardon from the Parole Board of
Canada only nine years after his conviction and six years after his
release from prison. Kennedy and the public only learned of this in
2010, and were clearly very shocked; how could a convicted
pedophile be pardoned? The Canadian Federal government
immediately took action and introduced Bill C-23 to help ensure
something like that never happens again. The Bill made those
convicted of a sexual offence against a minor ineligible for a pardon,
SHELDON KENNEDY
Continued on Page 6
Victims of Violence Canadian Centre for Missing Children.
340-117 Centrepointe Drive Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5X3
1-888-606-0000
5
minimum sentences for sex crimes against children and two new
offences related to grooming or luring minors were created.
In addition to his work in Canada, Kennedy has also travelled south
of the border to speak at a United States Senate Subcommittee on
child abuse. While there, he urged the U.S. to fix the power
imbalance between child abusers and the children they abuse. He
drew parallels between the Penn State Football Coach abuse case
and that of Graham James, and cited a power imbalance as one of
the main problem that prevents people from standing up against
abusers even when the abuse may be apparent; some people feel too
intimidated to speak out against the perpetrators of child abuse
because, as was the true in those two cases, they were key members
of the community who were very much idolized and respected.
Kennedy urged the Senate to empower bystanders to enable them to
speak out and break the silence on child abuse.
Graham James, after finishing his sentence in 2001, left Canada for
Spain, where he began coaching hockey once again. After complaints
to the hockey association in Spain by the Canadian Hockey
Association he was fired. He then made his way to Mexico where he
lived under his middle name Michael. Recently however, James was
brought back to Canada on new charges of child sexual abuse against
former NHL hockey players Theo Fleury and Todd Holt, boys he once
coached as juniors. James pled guilty and in March 2012, days after
Bill C-10 was passed, he was sentenced to two years in jail. He is
currently serving his sentence in an Alberta federal prison; however
the Crown is appealing the sentence as she feels the sentence is not
harsh enough. A decision on the appeal should be made in January
2013.
In response to the recent conviction of James, Kennedy stated that
although there have been recent advances in legislation such as Bill
C-10; the impact that child sexual abuse has on victims is still
frequently invisible to the legal system and society at large. Kennedy
stated that although he is an advocate of longer sentences for
pedophiles, it is not enough. He says, “If we really want to make
change, longer sentences alone will not expedite the healing process
for victims or eliminate abuse. We need to make the damage visible
by educating the public.” Kennedy aims to realize these goals through
his continued work with Respect Group, focusing on educating
Canadians on the realities of child abuse, one’s moral and legal
responsibilities in responding to child abuse, and the long lasting
harm to abuse victims. 
For more information about Respect Group Inc, please see:
www.respectgroupinc.com.
EXPANDING THE HEADLINES
SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION: ABORIGINAL
VICTIMS
Canada’s population of Aboriginal people represents about 4% of
the total population of Canadians. Unfortunately, their rate of
victimization is nowhere near comparable. In fact, statistics
collected in the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) indicated that
37% of Aboriginal people self-reported being the victim of a
crime, whereas only 26% of non-Aboriginal people made the
same report. The 2009 GSS also indicated that Aboriginal people
experience sexual assault at a rate of 70 incidents per 1,000
people, compared to 23 per 1,000 for non-Aboriginal people, and
that Aboriginal women were almost three times more likely than
non-Aboriginal women to report that they had been a victim of
spousal violence. Furthermore, the 2009 Homicide Survey
showed that Aboriginal people are more likely to be victims of
homicide than non-Aboriginal people, accounting for 27% of
homicide victims.
The reasons for this higher rate victimization are mainly rooted in
residential school experiences and the resulting transfer of
trauma through to the younger generations, the colonization of
traditional values and culture, and, perhaps most relevant to this
article, institutional racism. The consequences are widely
documented by many researchers as the key cause of social
issues, such as the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse,
suicide, poverty/low-income, incomplete education, and family
violence among Aboriginal populations. The combination of
circumstances place Aboriginal people a higher risk of
victimization, and also perpetuate negative attitudes towards
Aboriginal people both as a society as well as individually.
A key example of this discrimination can be seen when looking at
the cases of the women abducted from or found murdered along
the ‘Highway of Tears’ (Highway 16) in British Columbia. The
majority of the missing and/or murdered women are of
Aboriginal heritage, but it was not until Nicole Hoar, a young
Caucasian woman, went missing that any of these cases began to
receive much attention from the media or the police. Jessica Yee,
who worked on the Highways of Tears Initiative for two years and
who is also the creator of the Native Youth Sexual Health
network, best summed up the perceptions felt by the families of
these women in a Yukon News article where she stated, “It’s total
systemic discrimination… There was one non-aboriginal victim
and the amount of attention paid to her was so much higher. Not
to say that her life is any less valuable, but it is a process of
discrimination… As far as the RCMP is concerned, there’s a huge
amount of racism, lack of cultural awareness, lack of taking these
issues seriously. There’s (sic) families having to pound on their
door and cry and beg and plead with them to take it seriously.”
The issue of discrimination and lack of interest in cases involving
Aboriginal victims, particularly Aboriginal women, has further
been put in the spotlight recently with the trial of Robert Pickton,
and the following public inquiry into the investigation of the
dozens of women who went missing from Vancouver’s Downtown
Eastside. The inquiry, named The Missing Women Commission of
Inquiry, was meant to examine the conduct of the investigations
conducted by police forces respecting women reported missing
from the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of the city of Vancouver, and
also the decision to enter a stay of proceedings on additional
charges against Pickton. The Inquiry was further meant to
recommend changes considered necessary for the initiation and
conduct of investigations of missing women and suspected
multiple homicides and also any changes concerning homicide
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VICTIM MATTERS
Victims of Violence
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1-888-606-0000
6
investigations by more than one investigating organization, including
the co-ordination of those investigations. The Report, which was
released on December 17, 2012, made 63 recommendations to this
effect, 14 of which had to do directly with promoting equal protection
of the law. One recommendation specifically focuses on police duty to
protect marginalized and Aboriginal women from violence.
Throughout the Inquiry the transcripts of the testimony of those
called to give information were published, and made evident the level
of disinterest and discrimination that Aboriginal victims and their
families had faced, particularly by the police. For example, the
testimony of Detective Constable Lori Shenher revealed that four
years prior to Pickton being arrested in 2002, there was evidence
linking him to the murders and disappearances of several sex trade
workers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Shenher stated that
this information was largely ignored by those senior officials, and
she explained in her testimony that the culture of the department
made her believe that if she pushed the notion of a serial killer
further, she would essentially be committing career suicide.
Furthermore, on April 23, 2012, testimony from former Vancouver
police 911 operator Rae Lynn Dicks revealed a candid account of the
systematic discrimination the missing women from the Vancouver
DTES were facing. She, along with Sandy Cameron, a former VPD
missing person’s clerk, testified that people who had no fixed
Vancouver address that were reported missing, or those who were
reported missing by a friend instead of a family member, were
essentially discarded. Dicks testified that, “You know, they [the
sergeants she was accountable to] didn’t care. It was, it was systemic.
It didn't matter. They were marginalized women. Most of them were
aboriginal. And as far as I was getting from the Department, I was
being told to stop being a bleeding heart... Follow policy. Grow up…
These people are scum of the earth. We're not going to spend
valuable time and money trying to find them. They're hookers.”
Members of Aboriginal communities were also able to voice their
concerns (although in a limited way) at pre-hearing conferences and
forums about the handling of cases involving Aboriginal people,
particularly Aboriginal women, as victims. The forums, held in
Northwestern areas of British Columbia, were attended by and heard
from many of the families and friends of the aboriginal women who
had gone missing or were found murdered along the Highway of
Tears as well as those who had gone missing from Vancouver’s DTES.
In the report Standing Together and Moving Forward: Report on the
Pre-Hearing Conference in Prince George and the Northern
Community Forums, it was stated that, “several family members of
the missing girls and women were dissatisfied with the way the
disappearances had been handled.” Their specific concerns included a
perceived unwillingness of the RCMP to take a report of a missing girl
or woman seriously; in some cases RCMP would not take the report
right away. There was also a feeling that the person reporting a girl or
young woman missing was blamed by the RCMP for the fact that their
relative went missing, or that it was the girl or young woman’s fault.
For example, people reported being told the missing person “simply
went on a drinking binge [or] they just needed a break.” Uncertainty
about whether investigations were continuing was another concern
voiced, as some family members reported having no contact from the
police for over 5 years. Many people also believed that they were not
always told the truth by the RCMP, and that they were not
receiving adequate support from the police.
It is important to note that at the beginning of the Inquiry,
Commissioner Wally Opal stated, “I can assure you I want the
advice of Aboriginal women” and that he would seek input from
women’s groups throughout the Inquiry. He also stated that
“understanding the full impact of these events on the
communities will help the Commission focus its inquiry more
clearly on the most important issues once the public hearings
begin.” While these words were a nice sentiment, in reality the
pre-hearing conferences would represent the greatest extent in
which actual members of the community and families of the
victims would be able to participate in the Inquiry; very few
would get to voice their concerns during the actual hearings.
A report released on November 19, 2012, entitled Blueprint for
an Inquiry: Learning from the Failures of the Missing Women
Commission of Inquiry, was prepared by members of three B.C.
Human Rights organizations (Civil Liberties Association, Pivot
Legal Society, and West Coast LEAF). These groups highlighted
that the voices of the individuals and groups most affected by
the Pickton case were hindered and scarcely included in the
Inquiry. The groups pointed out in their report that the voices of
the people it should have worked hard to include, such as those
of Aboriginal women, sex trade workers, those addicted to
drugs, and those living in poverty were virtually non-existent.
They explained that, “The Commission repeated the very
mistakes that led to serial murderer Robert Pickton being able
to operate with impunity in the first place – the voices of
marginalized women were shoved aside while the
“professional” opinions of police and government officials took
centre stage. The focus of the Inquiry was directed away from
systemic issues, targeting instead individual participants in the
system who may not have fulfilled their job requirements as
expected.” Indeed, one of the key issues they raised in the
report was that during the actual Inquiry hearings, legal council
was paid for by the province for 25 lawyers to represent and
assist the police and government interests, while only two were
paid for to represent all of the families of murdered or missing
women, and another two to represent all of the interests of sex
workers, women’s groups and DTES organizations. Many of the
individuals and groups who wished to participate in the hearings
and give testimony could and would not do so because they
could not afford their own legal representation.
This report offered a list of 23 recommendations based on the
failings of this Inquiry to help ensure that other Inquiries in the
future are more successful in truly achieving their goals. The
essence of the report was to illustrate that the “Inquiry provided
a critical opportunity to foster reconciliation between the
criminal justice system and people directly impacted by the
Pickton murders…and [also] provided an opportunity for
reconciliation between the police and the community of the
DTES, as well as the broader Aboriginal community; it could
have laid the foundation for trust and mutual respect.”
Unfortunately however, the type of discrimination that leads to
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1-888-606-0000
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“A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF THE MISSING AND
MURDERED WOMEN WERE ABORIGINAL: WHILE THREE PER
CENT OF BC’S POPULATION CONSISTS OF ABORIGINAL
WOMEN, THEY COMPRISE APPROXIMATELY 33 PER CENT OF THE
MISSING AND MURDERED WOMEN. OF THE 33 WOMEN WHOSE
DNA WAS FOUND ON PICKTON’S FARM, 12 WERE ABORIGINAL.”
-
VICTIM MATTERS
MISSING WOMEN COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT
a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people (specifically women)
to become victims was allowed to continue. 
differences between the justice system and the communities
in which they (the courts) were operating.”
For more information on Aboriginal victimization issues and the
recommendations to assist these victims and eliminate
discrimination, please visit:
The main tasks of the sixteen currently staffed CWC positions
are to prepare witnesses, who are also often victims, for court
and for the impending onslaught of a justice system that is
usually very foreign to them. CWCs work with the resident
courts in Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit, and also travel
with the circuit court to 57 rural communities (13 in Yukon, 21
in the Northwest Territories and 23 in Nunavut). In doing this,
CWCs explain the rights that the victim/witness has,
particularly regarding the types of testimonial aids they may be
able to use as well as their right to submit a victim impact
statement. They explain how the court process works and are
able to clarify any misperceptions that they may have about
the justice system. In fact, CWCs often accompany the
victim/witness to court to help put them at ease when giving
their testimony, and to allow them to feel safe in the
courtroom. Furthermore, CWCs are there to act as liaisons
between the victim/witness and the Crown Prosecutor by
communicating the needs of each party, and helping them to
work together to ensure that all of the facts are known and
understood. As explained by Bonnie Tulloch, the Special
Advisor on Northern Issues with the Public Prosecution Service
of Canada, CWCs “try to bridge the gap between mainstream
and Aboriginal justice practices. They build the trust that is
very often missing between the southern prosecutors and the
northern people.”
Blueprint for an Inquiry: Learning from the Failures of the Missing Women
Commission of Inquiry:
http://bccla.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/20121119-Report-Missing-WomenInquiry.pdf.
Standing Together and Moving Forward:
www.missingwomeninquiry.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Report-on-the-PreHearing-Conference-in-Prince-George-and-the-Northern-Community-Forums00263779.pdf
Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Report:
www.missingwomeninquiry.ca/obtain-report/
Highway of Tears Symposium Recommendation Report:
www.ubcic.bc.ca/files/PDF/highwayoftearsfinal.pdf
SPOTLIGHT
THE CROWN WITNESS COORDINATOR
PROGRAM: ASSISTING CANADA’S NORTHERN
VICTIM/WITNESSES
In Canada’s territories, there is a notable lack of accessible services
for victims and witnesses of crime, particularly for those in the small
and rural communities outside of the territorial capitals. This lack of
resources is acute, in that the highest rates of violent victimization
across the country are found in these northern areas, and these
regions have the least amount of available services. Fortunately, the
Canadian federal government has recognized the enormous need for
more services and has provided Canada’s north with the Crown
Witness Coordinator program since 1991.
The Crown Witness Coordinator (CWC) program was originally part of
the Department of Justice, but now is overseen by the Public
Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC). This program has been
recognized as invaluable particularly for Aboriginal victim/witnesses,
as it has helped to enable their participation in the criminal justice
system; something that these individuals have historically not had
positive experiences with. Joanne Power, the current Northern Victim
Services Coordinator, explained that CWC positions “were created in
response to the need to support victims and witnesses who were
involved in the criminal justice system, in recognition of the cultural
In order to assist their clients appropriately, CWCs must be
able to identify and assess the risk factors that could impact
the involvement of each victim/witness throughout the
criminal justice process. CWCs are sensitive to the fact that
Aboriginal peoples have an increased level of wariness and
reluctance about participating in the criminal justice system,
which stems from decades of maltreatment by the system and
other social issues faced by these people. In many cases
Aboriginal people lack of even a basic understanding of how
the criminal justice system works, further increasing their
wariness. CWCs are there to assist the victim/witness in feeling
more comfortable and aware of how the criminal justice
system functions, and encourage them to testify about what
they saw or experienced. In addition to the systemic and social
factors that affect the participation of Aboriginal people in the
criminal justice system, CWCs also must be aware of cultural
and language differences that can impact the victim/witness’
ability to participate. Oftentimes language and cultural
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VICTIM MATTERS
Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
8
differences can cause anxiety and apprehension between the
victim/witness and the prosecutor, because neither party fully
understands what the other’s needs are. As a result, CWCs
sometimes play the role of translator or interpreter to ensure an
appropriate and accurate exchange of information.
When it is possible, CWCs will refer victim/witnesses to services in
their community, so that they might receive additional and more
specified and culturally appropriate support if needed. However,
because of the remoteness of the communities that the CWCs serve,
they are often the only person available to give support to that
victim/witness. Consequently, CWCs often serve many different roles
for the individuals they work with, and can generally be described as
equal parts therapist, detective and educator. In an article published
for National Crime Victims Awareness Week 2008, former CWC Kadla
Tagak, who served in Nunavut, described the type of assistance that
she and other CWCs often give to the victims/witnesses they are
assisting; “throughout the years my job included interpreting for the
crown prosecutors, making appointments for victims and preparing
them for court, assisting with the preparation of other witnesses,
photocopying statements, reading files, contacting the RCMP for
additional information, writing memos, referring people to various
other service providers like Social Services, helping people fill out
victim impact statements, translating those statements for the Crown
and the court, making phone calls and building trust. On many
occasions, I even recall babysitting young children so witnesses and
victims could testify.” These activities are still applicable today and it
remains common place that CWCs assist victims in ways that are
above and beyond what one might consider to be in their job
description (such as babysitting a victim’s child). It is important to
note that while this program is overseen by the Public Prosecution
Service of Canada, not all CWCs are lawyers or have professional
legal training; in fact, most have education and experience in social
service related fields. Additionally, many are Aboriginal peoples
themselves and/or are extremely familiar with the cultural practices
of the people they are serving.
Beyond the challenges of building a trustful working relationship with
the victims/witnesses of Canada’s north and encouraging their
participation in the justice system, CWCs are also faced with
additional challenges unique to their particular working environment.
For example, because of the remoteness of the communities that
they must reach, they often have to fly in via bush plane; there are
no roads that lead to many of these communities. Furthermore,
because of the remote nature of the communities, criminal cases
proceed in a circuit court style which means that every few weeks, a
judge, prosecutor, CWC, court clerk, etc. set up in whatever space
may be available (such as a school gymnasium or sports arena) to
hear and decide cases, and then leave when their case or sitting is
over. All of these people, including the CWC, usually need to stay in
the community until the case or sitting is completed. These two
factors make it virtually impossible for CWCs to have a routine where
they can go home at the end of the day. In fact, they often have to
stay in these isolated communities for days and even weeks at a time
(about a third of their time is spent travelling on circuit court).
Furthermore, because of a lack of available space and facilities, CWCs
Victims of Violence
habitually meet and speak with their clients in unconventional
places. CWC Brooke Harker noted that he often prepares and
meets with victims/witnesses in locker rooms or washrooms of
the building that has been provided for the court to proceed in.
Such places may be the only space available that offers some
amount of privacy in which CWCs and victims/witnesses can
discuss their case and work through any concerns they may
have.
While the challenges of working within the CWC are many, the
program has been successful in helping those in Canada’s north
access the justice system more fully. Encouraging
victims/witnesses to come forward, fostering a relationship of
trust between them and the Crown, helping them to take
advantage of any available services in their area, increasing the
use of testimonial aids and increasing the writing and
submission of victim impact statements are just a few of the
accomplishments that can be attributed to the work that the
CWCs do. Perhaps most notable is that there also appears to be
an increase in the number of guilty pleas by offenders since the
program began (although empirical data or research on this is
not available).
Looking into the future, the Public Prosecution Service of
Canada would like to develop and improve the nature, quality
and consistency of the data collected on the results of the
Crown Witness Coordinator Program and its activities, in order
to gain better insight on the effectiveness of the program. The
PPSC plans to develop their case management system to better
plan and report on the work of CWCs with victims and
witnesses, and therefore improve future services offered
through this program. According to the PPSC 2011-2012 Report
on Plans and Priorities, “the PPSC will continue to expand the
CWC Program in collaboration with the Department of Justice,
in order to better serve the needs of northern communities. It
will also offer training to CWCs, as well as to Crown Prosecutors
working in the territories, to help them address the vicarious
trauma issues they may face from dealing with cases of spousal
and sexual abuse.”
It is evident that this program has been filling the gap caused
by a great lack of services for victims in Canada’s north, and
offers a much needed resource to those victim/witnesses who
would otherwise have been on their own to navigate and
participate in the criminal justice system. 
To learn more about the CWC program, please read Brooke
Harker’s “A Day in the Life of a Crown Witness Coordinator”
article, which can be found at:
www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/wop-oce/din04-jdv04.html.
You may also contact Northern Victim Services Coordinator
Joanne Power at: 1-877-587-8499 or by email at:
[email protected] if you have any questions
about this program.
WWW.VICTIMSOFVIOLENCE.ON.CA
1-888-606-0000
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“THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE WORK THEY
(CWCS) DO IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESSFUL
PROSECUTIONS AND WE NEED TO TAKE EVERY
OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE THEIR WORK AND
RECOGNIZE THEIR INCREDIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS.”
VICTIM MATTERS
- Bonnie Tulloch, Special Advisor on Northern Issues with the Public
Prosecution Service of Canada
Q&A: RESPONDING TO WHAT
MATTERS TO YOU
Q. “Who is responsible for deciding if those deemed Not
Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder
are released into the public?”
– DAVID FROM KENORA
A. Section 672.38 of the Criminal Code requires each province
and territory in Canada to establish a Review Board that is
responsible for making or reviewing decisions concerning any
person who has been found Unfit to Stand Trial or Not Criminally
Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD). These
Boards are independent tribunals that have the specific task of
deciding whether an NCRMD individual should be detained in a
hospital, released into the community with conditions, or
discharged into the community with no conditions.
According to the Ontario Review Board, “members of the Board
are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for each
province. The Board must consist of no fewer than 5 persons…
There must be at least one member of the Board qualified to
practice psychiatry, and, in the event there is only one such
member, one other who has training and experience in the field
of mental health and is entitled to practice medicine or
psychology. The Chairperson [of the Board] must be a judge… or
a person who has retired from or is entitled to be appointed to
such a judicial office (i.e. a lawyer with 10 years experience).” The
other members may vary but would generally be trained and
experienced in the field of mental health.
When making a decision, the members of the Review Board must
take into account “the need to protect the public from dangerous
persons, the mental condition of the accused, the reintegration of
the accused into society, and the other needs of the accused
when making a release decision.” The Board must also consider
the content of written victim impact statements, if they have
been submitted, when making their decision. 
Have a question you’d like to see answered in the next issue?
Email us at: [email protected]
BLAST FROM THE PAST
FOCUSING ON VICTIMS OF CRIME: CREATING
THE POLICY CENTRE FOR VICTIMS ISSUES
The Policy Centre for Victims Issues (PCVI) was created in 1999 by
the Department of Justice. This centre was created in response to a
report entitled, Victims Rights – A Voice Not a Veto, which was
published in 1998 by the Standing Committee on Justice and
Human Rights. This report highlighted the importance of giving
victims of crime a voice in the criminal justice system, and offered
suggestions on how to better include victims throughout the
criminal justice process. Key issues that were identified in the
report included the limited amount of input that victims had in the
development of legislation that had been created up to that point,
and more importantly the poor organization and low level of
awareness of the services that existed for victims across Canada.
The report Victims Rights – A Voice not a Veto discussed how there
had been great progress made for victims of crime in the 1980s and
90s, but stressed that there was much room for improvement. The
report stated “victim’s services programs exist in different forms –
they are police-based, court-based, community-based, and systembased. The approach differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.” As a
result, the report called for the government to add some form of
organization to the victim services programs. They suggested that
the government create a fully-funded, central office for victims of
crime through the Department of Justice to respond to victims’
issues and to develop a strategy to help victims of crime.
One year after this report was released the Policy Centre for
Victims Issues (PCVI) was established. As proposed in Parliament,
the PCVI was created to manage all federal legislation and policies
pertaining to victims of crime. The main intention behind creating
the PCVI was to ensure that the victim’s perspective is considered
when developing future policies and legislation. Moreover, the
PCVI was created to work in conjunction with other departments at
all levels of the government. Therefore, the PCVI was formed as a
central office that would leads the cooperation among all
departments working towards improving victims’ rights.
When establishing the exact methods the PCVI would use to
ensure that the victim’s perspective is included in the creation of
legislation, the Centre follows the principles of the Canadian
Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime. This
statement was created in 1988 to highlight the essential principles
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Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
10
“I SEE VERY MUCH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
PROVIDING AN INFORMATION EXCHANGE OFFICE.
THEY CAN PROVIDE A GOOD OVERVIEW. THEY CAN PROVIDE
A VICTIMS' LENS IN ALL THE FEDERAL AREAS OF JURISDICTION,
FROM POLICING TO PAROLE TO CORRECTIONS SERVICES TO JUDGES
AS WELL, AND SOME TRAINING IN THOSE AREAS.”
-
VICTIM MATTERS
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3
BRITISH COLUMBIA VICTIMS SERVICES DIVISION DIRECTOR SUSANNE DAHLIN,
AS PUBLISHED IN VICTIMS RIGHTS- A VOICE NOT A VETO
that should be focused on when creating legislation and/or policies.
These principles include treating the victim with respect, considering
the privacy and security of the victim, providing information to victims
pertaining to the criminal justice process, and of course including the
specific needs/concerns that have been voiced by victims of crime.
As stated, the PCVI was initially created to focus on legislation and
policies relating to victims of crime, but has also developed as a service
for victims and victim services providers. The PCVI helps victims and
their families to understand the laws, services and assistance available
to them. It also manage the Federal Victims Fund, which provides
much needed financial assistance to victim’s services, Child Advocacy
Centres, victims victimized abroad, and victims who have to travel to
attend parole hearings. In addition, the PCVI increases awareness
about the needs of victims, both within Canada and on an
international scale, and educates the public on information pertaining
to victims through publications on their website and through events
such as National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. 
For more information on the Policy Centre for Victims Issues, visit the
Department of Justice Website at: www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvicpcv/index.html.
For more information on the Victims Rights – A Voice not a Veto report, visit:
www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1031526&Mode=1
&Parl=36&Ses=1&Language=E.
For more information on the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice
for Victims of Crime, please visit the Department of Justice website at:
www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/pub/03/princ.html.
CANADA’S HOMICIDE RATES 2011
Information released on December 4, 2012 by Statistics
Canada indicated that the homicide rates for 2011 were up 7%
BLAST FROM THE PAST
over the previous year. However, while there may be annual
fluctuations,
TITLE Statistics Canada emphasized that looking on a
larger scale; the homicide rate has been steadily declining since
the 1970’s and has stabilized over the past decade. Nunavut
(21.01 per 100,000 people) and the Northwest Territories (6.87
per 100,000) reported the highest rates of homicide, while
Manitoba (4.24 per 100,000) reported the highest rate for the
provinces (Winnipeg was also reported to be the metropolitan
area with the most homicides at 5.08 per 100,000.)
As similarly reported in previous years, victims were most
likely to have been killed by an acquaintance or friend (48% of
all homicides were committed by a friend or acquaintance).
Alternatively, family members committed 32.6% of all
homicides and strangers committed 15%. Furthermore, the
increase in homicide victims was greater for women, who
experienced 24 more homicides in 2011 than in 2010 (16%
increase), compared to 22 more homicides against men (an
increase of 6%). The data shows that an increase in stabbings
accounted for most of the overall swell in homicides last year,
but that the rate of homicides committed by firearms has
actually declined to its lowest point in almost five decades. 
For more information and a provincial break down on these statistics,
visit: www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11738-eng.pdf
COMMENTS OR FEED BACK? IDEAS?
SEND US YOUR THOUGHTS TO:
LINKS OF INTEREST

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www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/index.html
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
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
www.justice.gc.ca
Have a question?
Email us and have it answered in the next issue.

FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
www.victimsfirst.gc.ca
VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
340 – 117 CENTREPOINTE DRIVE,
OTTAWA, ONTARIO
K2G 5X3

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www.respectgroupinc.com

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www.missingwomeninquiry.ca/obtain-report
[email protected]
VICTIMS VOICE
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VICTIM MATTERS
Volume 3, Issue 3, January/February 2013
11