Victims of Crime Research Digest No. 10


Welcome to Issue 10 of the Victims of Crime Research Digest. The theme of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2017 (May 28th – June 3rd) is “Empowering Resilience.” The four articles in Issue 10 cover a range of topics, once again illustrating the diversity of the research undertaken in the broad area of victims and survivors of crime.

The primary objective of the Federal Victims Strategy is to give victims and survivors a more effective voice in the criminal justice and federal corrections systems. All of the work under the Strategy is to be informed by evidence and performance measurement and that is what the research in this issue describes. Whether it is to better understand unmet needs to improve programming, or to measure the impact of legislation, the role of research is not to be underestimated, although it may not always be obvious.

The first article is by Isabel Grant, Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. Professor Grant, who has studied intimate partner violence (IPV) her entire career, examines sentencing decisions in these cases and the use of the aggravating factor of spousal violence found in s. 718.2(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code. The second article is by Jo-Anne Wemmers, a Full Professor at the School of Criminology, University of Montreal and Researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology. Professor Wemmers examines the use of restorative justice for victims and survivors of sexual violence and the importance of choice for victims. In the third article, Melanie Kowalski from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS), Statistics Canada, describes work currently being done in collaboration with the provinces and territories to gather data to help understand the impact of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. In the final article, Marsha Axford, a researcher with the Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice Canada, describes the collaboration between researchers from the Department of Justice and CCJS to provide more precision in the Homicide Survey category of relationship between the accused and the victim called, “casual acquaintance.” As always, the Digest also includes a list of victim-related conferences scheduled for this year.

We hope this issue of the Victims of Crime Research Digest helps all of us who work for and with victims and survivors of crime to better understand the importance and the power of our voices. As always, if you have comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Susan McDonald
Principal Researcher
Research and Statistics Division

Gillian Blackell
Senior Counsel and Acting Director
Policy Centre for Victim Issues