The Future of Mandatory Charging for Intimate Partner Violence: Status quo or alternative direction?
According to the Ontario Domestic Violence Advisory Council (DVAC, 2009), legislative responses to violence against women were introduced across Canada in the 1980s. These policies included provisions for mandatory police-laid charges against perpetrators of domestic violence. The DVAC report noted numerous unintended negative consequences of these policies and recommended an impact study which was never conducted. This four-month project will (i) conduct an international literature review on mandatory charging, and (ii) create an Ontario-specific survey to be used with women who have experienced violence in a future phase of the project. This project provides a first step for police and partners (e.g. Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees across Ontario such as OCTEVAW, Crown Attorneys) in developing more effective responses to domestic violence and reducing associated costs.