Opportunities for Solidarity with the Criminal Justice System Against Intimate Partner Violence; Why we Need to and How We Can
O’Neill Beresford, Karen
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This thesis attempts to understand where the opportunities are for solidarity with the criminal justice system in an attempt to uphold the resistance of women experiencing intimate partner violence in Canada. As a country Canada spent more than $7.4 billion dollars to deal with the aftermath of intimate partner violence (Canadian Women's Foundation, 2014, p. 10). The Canadian Women’s Foundation (2014) believes that violence prevention programs and a strong criminal justice response can bring about an end to violence (p. 17). The criminal justice system is meant to be reflective of our values as a society. As a society we claim to value and support a culture of non-violence and anti-oppression for all members. We assume that the people working in the criminal justice system, including police, judges and court workers and advocates have an understanding of all individuals who come before them. This is clearly not the case as victims are less now likely to report abuse than they have been in the past (Canadian Women's Foundation, 2014, p. 11). If the criminal justice system is to be the macro level response to impact the lives of those impacted on micro levels by intimate partner violence, then we must provide the education, support and solidarity to those who are doing the work of the criminal justice system. Give them the tools and knowledge to provide the best possible response to a problem deeply rooted in our social values and norms.