Letter to the Editor re: Inquest into triple murders examines mandated counselling program for intimate partner violence – June 15, 2022

As a provincial network of 42 members serving women who have experienced intimate partner violence, as well as offenders, through twenty-one of Ontario’s Partner Assault Response (PAR) programs, we believe meaningful change is needed to prevent intimate partner violence and femicide. The inquest’s recommendations must result in timely action.

Intimate partner violence is a complex issue, requiring a comprehensive solution, not a one size fits all approach. Change will require an investment from the province, but it must be strategic, ensuring the safety of women and their children, enhancing offender accountability, but without producing unintended consequences. Family Service Ontario has long advocated for a differential response that includes early intervention, while recognizing that more intensive services are needed for repeat and high-risk offenders.

For many, PAR is a transformative program and for some it is not. Clearly more is needed to prevent the murder of women by their intimate partners.