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Sask. Justice Ministry releases interim Domestic Violence Death Review report

Domestic Violence Death Review interim report released

Forty-eight domestic homicides will help shape Saskatchewan’s ongoing work in revising existing domestic violence legislation.

The Ministry of Justice released their interim Domestic Violence Death Review report Thursday morning.

The report provides aggregate data gathered from the 48 domestic homicides and nine domestic violence related homicides that took place between 2005 and 2014.

READ MORE: Domestic violence support workers want to see further prevention through education

“This report provides us with needed insight into this issue, and I’m very happy to see continued progress on this important issue,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said in a statement.

“This report, combined with the work being done by the Domestic Violence Death Review Panel, will provide important information for determining the province’s response to domestic violence.”

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The interim report found three key factors:

• the majority of the victims were female, and the majority of the perpetrators male;
• over one third of the victims were under the age of 21;
• nearly two thirds of victims were attacked in their own home.

The Domestic Violence Death Review Panel is currently conducting an in-depth review of six domestic violence homicide cases. Once that work is done, the panel will make recommendations for provincial responses to domestic violence and future of the review process.

“I would like to see the ministry take a more proactive approach, to file this and to do a little more work more quickly.  We do know this is a concern, we don’t want to see more individuals in Saskatchewan die at the hands of their intimate partner,” Justice Critic Nicole Sarauer said.

That report is expected in the fall.

This is not new information to the Regina YWCA’s Hilary Aitken.  She hopes the government will move quickly with recommendations for prevention.

“I’m hopeful that it will lead to action, what we don’t need is more research and more reports on the issue,” Aitken said.

“There is far more outreach and support that can be provided, shelters can be expanded, we can start working with youth and especially teen boys to talk about what is okay, and what a healthy relationship is.”

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READ MORE: Domestic violence survivor wishes Sask. bill could have come earlier

This comes after legislation was passed that allows people fleeing domestic violence the ability to break a lease without penalty. The Justice Ministry is also looking into the possibility of paid and unpaid days off for people dealing with the fallout of these relationships.

In 2017-18, roughly $18 million will be provided to community-based organizations across Saskatchewan to deliver interpersonal violence and domestic abuse support services, prevention programming and victims services.

Below is the full interim report.