MONCTON (CNB) – The domestic violence court in Moncton has been made permanent after a four-year pilot project.

"The adoption of the domestic violence court as a permanent court demonstrates our government's commitment to addressing domestic violence," said Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney, who is also the minister responsible for the status of women. "This court provides assistance to the victim and the offender with the aim of stopping the cycle of violence."

This court is a provincial government initiative resulting from the Better World for Women: Moving Forward action plan. It is a specialized provincial court presided over by Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman and supported by a dedicated team of professionals.

"The physical and emotional suffering caused by domestic violence is devastating for victims and their families, and it also affects the entire community in ways that cannot be measured," said Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Marie-Claude Blais. "I am pleased that we are continuing our efforts to respond more effectively, and I hope that the lessons learned will lead us in a better direction."

The court has four goals:

●    to improve the response of the criminal justice system to victim needs and safety planning;
●    to promote offender accountability and early intervention to help stop the cycle of violence;
●    to accelerate prosecution and court processes; and
●    to offer timely access to services for victims and offenders.

The court combines specialization in domestic violence cases with co-ordinated community-based resources for support and treatment of victims and offenders.

Support is provided to victims and their children through the entire court process, with a main objective being to ensure their safety.

Treatment options for offenders encourage them to understand their violence and to learn new ways to interact in their relationships to avoid abusive behaviour in the future.  

The provincial government will examine which elements of the court it could implement within existing resources in other judicial districts.

LINK:

●    Executive Council Office (Women’s Issues Branch): www.gnb.ca/women