Domestic violence court sorely missed: lawyer Lynn Moore
A St. John's lawyer says the province's family violence intervention court that was cut in the last provincial budget is sorely missed.
Lynn Moore, a prosecutor assigned to the court, said the court was axed for cost-saving purposes, despite Justice Minister Darin King saying the program was working.
The court provided a bail supervisor to keep in contact with offenders, and also offered counselling for victims.
Moore said there was a substantial rate of success in the family violence court, when compared to regular provincial court proceedings.
She said scrapping the project despite its success will reduce the number of victims of family violence who come forward.
"I would say about 90 per cent of the cases I dealt with as a prosecutor involved in family violence, the victims would ask me to withdraw the charges. They did not want to be cross examined in court, they did not want their private lives to be displayed in such a public forum," she said.
"When I was in the family violence intervention, nobody asked to have the charges withdrawn."
She said the total cost of the intervention court was a significant savings for the province, on top of cutting down on violence.
"It would cost the government $500,000 a year and that is significantly less than what a murder trial costs. And we know that women in intimate partner relationships where there is violence, they die — there's one or two every year."
Adverse weather cancelled a protest in St. John's on Friday that was aimed at bringing attention to family violence.
The demonstration was being held as part of an international One Billion Rising, a movement calling for the end of violence against women and girls.