[1] The LCO expresses its appreciation to the Ontario Women’s Directorate for arranging the LCO’s involvement in this initiative and the Advisory Group created to assist with the development of the framework and modules. The project supervisor was Pamela Cross, a consultant in the area of violence against women.

[2] This document uses the language of violence against women because women are predominantly the victims of men’s violence, whether that violence is physical, psychological or sexual, whether it takes place in the home, the workplace, the school or the community and whether it is perpetrated by someone known to the victim or a stranger. However, the more common language used within the legal systems is “domestic violence,” and therefore this phrase is also used, as is intimate partner violence.

[3] Amnesty International, “Stop Violence Against Women Campaign – Overview”. Online: http://www.amnesty.ca/campaigns/svaw_overview.php.

[4] According to a number of Statistics Canada crime reviews, including The Daily from July 20, 2010 and October 26, 2011, the rate of spousal homicide remains constant and the rate of criminal harassment and sexual assault are increasing. Online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/111026/dq111026a-eng.htm.

[5] American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, When will they ever learn? Educating to End Domestic Violence: A Law School Report (1997), I-5.

[6] Note 5, 1.

[7] Note 5, 2. This suggests that all professors should have sufficient knowledge about violence against women to meet minimum requirements for recognizing it and introducing it to students, even if they are not “experts” in the area.

[8] Ontario established Canada’s first Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) as the result of a recommendation made by the jury in the inquest into the murder of Gillian Hadley by her estranged husband. The DVDRC’s mandate is to review all intimate partner and ex-partner homicides, identify systemic issues and make recommendations to address them, as well as to identify trends, risk factors and patterns. See, for example, Office of the Chief Coroner, Province of Ontario, Eighth Annual Report, Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (2010). Online:


[9] Joint Committee on Domestic Violence. Working Toward a Seamless Community and Justice Response to Domestic Violence: A Five Year Plan for Ontario (Report to the Attorney General 1999), xxxvi, Recommendation 144.

[10] Reports of the DVDRC can be found on the website of the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

[11] Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children, Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis for Abused Women Unrepresented in the Family Law System: Final Report and Recommendations (March 2008), 21, Recommendation 10.

[12] The Domestic Violence Advisory Council was established in 2007 by the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues to provide recommendations to improve the existing system of services to better meet the diverse needs of abused women and their children.

[13] Domestic Violence Advisory Council, Transforming our Communities (May 2009), Recommendation LR6, 72

[14] Although the Federation’s work is with respect to the common law degree, to the extent that it applies to the inclusion of violence against women, it also has value for the civil law degree.

[15] Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree: Final Report (2009) 18.

[16] Note 15, 33 and 35

[17] Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Common Law Degree Implementation Committee: Final Report (August 2011), 2.

[18] Note 17, 17

[19] Law Society of Upper Canada. Articling Task Force Consultation Report (December 9, 2011). Online: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/articling-task-force-consultation-report/.

[20] Note 19, iii.

[21] Ad Hoc Working Group on Articling and Access to Justice, “Articling and Access to Justice” Submission to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Task Force on Articling (March 2012), 3. Online: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147487551. (emphasis in original)

[22] ABA, When will they ever learn? note 5 and American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, Teach your students well: Incorporating Domestic Violence Into Law School Curricula (2003).

[23] ABA, Teach Your Students Well, note 22, 23.

[24] William M. Sullivan, Anne Colby, Judith Welch Wegner, Lloyd Bond, Lee S. Shulman, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2007) 1-2.

[25] Note 24, 4

[26] Note 24, 22

[27] Note 24, 194.

[28] Note 24, 35.

[29] ABA, Teach your students well, note 22, 37-98.

[30] Note 22, 34-36.

[31] Ontario Women’s Directorate, “Training for Professionals on Violence Against Women, online: http://www.women.gov.on.ca/english/keyprograms/training.shtml.

[32] The National Judicial Institute (NJI) has developed and delivered skills-based learning opportunities and has produced practical education resources about domestic violence and the judicial process. The content and materials were developed by the NJI in consultation with judicial leaders and experts.

[33] Training resources have been developed for Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) staff as well as criminal law, family law and refugee lawyers. The focus has been on identifying women who have experienced violence as well as on protocols to more effectively assist them. This training has been embedded through an e-learning component and the production and dissemination of training DVDs, and is available to lawyers who provide LAO services across Ontario.

[34] MCSCS, in collaboration with violence against women experts, has developed and delivered domestic violence training to community and institutional staff who deal with female offenders. Through a two-day workshop, participants learn about the root causes of partner abuse, the long-term effects it has on women and their children as well as strategies for assessing risk. This training is mandatory for all new probation and parole officers and correctional officers in Ontario.

[35] Assistant Crown attorneys are required to take a one week course at Crown school on domestic and sexual violence. Furthermore, Crowns may attend an annual education program devoted to domestic and/or sexual violence during the year. Spring and fall Crown education programs frequently include sessions relevant to domestic and sexual violence prosecutions.

[36] We use the term “communities” here in the broadest possible sense to refer to cultural, geographic and religious communities as well as to communities defined by age, ability, class, race, Aboriginal status, gender, sexual orientation and similar characteristics.

[37] This public education initiative is intended “to raise awareness of signs of woman abuse so that those close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man can help”. Online: http://www.neighboursfreiendsandfamilies.ca.

[38] Camille Carey, “Correcting Myopia in Domestic Violence Advocacy: Moving Forward in Lawyering and Law School Clinics” (2011) Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 1.

[39] The partnership between Osgoode Hall Faculty of Law and Parkdale Community Legal Services could serve as a model for such a clinic. As well, the National Association of Women and the Law has undertaken a study to explore the feasibility of establishing a feminist legal clinic at an Ontario law school.

[40] Western Law, Community Legal Services. Online: http://www.law.uwo.ca/cls/index.html.

[41] The Wheel reflects the abusive behaviours found by researchers to be “most universally experienced by battered women”: Home of the Duluth Model. Online: