A Better Way to Divorce: Helping Families When There is Intimate Partner Violence

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Best4All, A Better Way to Divorce: Helping Families When There is Intimate Partner Violence
Recent global events have shined a spotlight on a pervasive issue in our society: domestic or intimate partner violence (IPV).

Statistics Canada Juristat Article: Family Violence in Canada: a statistical profile, 2011, includes the following information about reported intimate partner violence in Canada:

  • In 2011, there were approximately 97,500 victims of intimate partner violence, representing a rate of 341 victims per 100,000 population. The vast majority of these victims (80%) were women, a finding consistent over time.
  • Overall, violence against dating partners was more prevalent than spousal violence, with a rate that was at least 1.6 times greater than spousal violence.
  • As with violent crime overall, young Canadians were most often the victim of intimate partner violence.
  • Women and men in their late 20s and early 30s had the highest rates of intimate partner violent victimization, followed closely by those aged 15 to 24 years. Rates generally declined with increasing age and were highest for women in every age group.
  • Risk of spousal homicide, while relatively low, was elevated after separation from a legal marriage and among those in a common-law union.

Collaborative Family Law is a new and emerging process where family lawyers and their clients work with neutral family and financial professionals as a team to assist separating couples during an extremely vulnerable and confusing time. The benefit of Collaborative Family Law is that clients and their lawyers commit to working toward settlement and not going to court, avoiding the expensive, time-consuming and often emotionally damaging court process. Our Collaborative Family Law Teams have an important responsibility to understand IPV and provide a safe process that will meet the needs of the family during this challenging time.

As part of our commitment to fulfilling this responsibility, Jennifer Suzor, President of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators and Principal of Family Mediation Training Canada was in Kitchener/Waterloo recently providing three days of intensive training on Screening for Power Imbalance and Domestic Violence to the members of Collaborative Practice of Waterloo Region. This training will help Collaborative Professionals increase awareness of IPV issues and the ability to competently proceed in a safe and efficient way, where it is appropriate.

At Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region, we prioritize understanding of IPV in family law in order to improve safety for our clients and better outcomes for families.

Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region is a like-minded group of professionals in the Waterloo Region, including family lawyers, financial professionals, and family professionals, who are trained in collaborative team practice and work together to assist clients with family law matters.

Our professionals are committed to continuing our education and adopting best practices for collaborative divorce. Please visit our website to learn more and meet our members.