Canadian Observatory

Justice System Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Canadian Observatory website:

The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research at the University of New Brunswick was awarded $ 2.1 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) under the Strategic Knowledge Clusters program, to establish a network promoting and coordinating multidisciplinary research from across Canada on intimate partner violence and the justice system.

An initiative of this magnitude is unique in Canada and intends to be a national conduit between provinces and territories, in both official languages. The Canadian observatory enables family violence researchers and partner organizations from across Canada, and abroad, to work together more effectively for the purpose of conducting research and developing initiatives on the justice system response to intimate partner violence.

What is the Canadian Observatory?

The Canadian observatory is a national/international research network emphasizing bilingual dialogue and in-depth research on the justice system in all parts of the country and on the impact of its response to intimate partner violence. The Canadian observatory lays the groundwork for standardized national data sets on the justice system response to intimate partner violence, with particular emphasis on civil legislation and specialized response units (e.g. police, court, prosecutions) and develops regional, national and international forums for dissemination of inter-jurisdictional analyses and program/policy outcomes.

Aims of the Canadian Observatory

  • Establish the Canadian observatory on the justice system’s response to intimate partner violence as the national research centre of excellence in the study of intersectoral and inter-jurisdictional interventions on intimate partner violence;
  • Create a conduit for continual dialogue in both official languages among academics, frontline workers, professionals, provincial/territorial/federal government representatives and interested individuals at the regional, national and international levels;
  • Acknowledge expertise in the domain; 
  • Enhance the effectiveness of the system and provide accessibility of research findings to stakeholders involved on the issue;
  • Integrate a training component to the studies by involving graduate and post-doctoral students;
  • Invite experts from academia/communities to share their knowledge and practice skills; 
  • Develop a coordinated intersectoral approach to intimate partner violence;
  • Promote effective responses to intimate partner violence with successful initiatives put in place in provinces;
  • Lay the ground work for the national standardized data collection on the justice system’s response while being respectful of the work already done in different jurisdictions. 
  • Compare intimate partner violence policies/programs/services among provinces/territories, what works, what does not work;
  • Establish a biennial National Conference on the justice system’s response and intimate partner violence to be held every two years.

For more information, contact one of the research team members.

Research Team Coordinator