The Gleaner

Specialized court for sexual and domestic violence launched in Valleyfield

Quebec Minister of Justice and minister responsible for the Montérégie, Simon Jolin-Barrette, was at the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield courthouse on March 25 to announce the creation of a specialized court. The court, a pilot project, will be dedicated to cases of sexual violence and domestic violence, and is designed to allow victims to feel safe and confident.

The project will bring about several changes aimed at better responding to the needs and realities of victims of sexual and domestic violence. Included are improvements to spaces within the courthouse to make them more safe and secure for victims. The spaces will also allow victims to circulate without encountering accused individuals. Other changes will include the creation of a separate room for victims, allowing them access to testimonial aids such as screens and video-conferencing rooms.


Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced the creation of a specialized court in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, accompanied by Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women Isabelle Charest, as well as Beauharnois MNA Claude Reid, Huntingdon MNA Claire IsaBelle, and the MNA for Soulanges, Marilyne Picard. PHOTO The Office of Huntingdon MNA Claire IsaBelle – Facebook


They will also now have access to support and accompaniment from specialized interveners from local organizations throughout the legal process. The same prosecutor will follow the progress of a case through the proceedings, while a worker from the Crime Victims Assistance Centre (CAVAC) will be assigned to each victim to help them at every stage of the process. This will allow support to be adapted to the reality of the victim: they will have access to the specialized resources that meet their needs, and this will prevent their having to repeat their story several times. All those working in the specialized court will be trained and equipped to understand the reality of victims and to respond to their needs.

“Victims must be able to feel confident and safe throughout their journey and be accompanied by workers who understand their needs and realities,” said Jolin-Barrette. “This is the very objective of the specialized court. We no longer want victims in Quebec to hesitate to denounce and file a complaint.”
The Salaberry-de-Valleyfield courthouse is one of five selected for the deployment of a specialized court. Similar courts will be launched in Québec, Granby, Drummondville and La Tuque.


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