Nova Scotia

Minister looks to repair trust between sexual assault victims, justice system

Nova Scotia’s justice minister says he’s committed to improving the trust between sexual assault victims and the justice system.

'We're seeing incident after incident and and it's disappointing and it's frustrating,' says Mark Furey

Justice Minister Mark Furey says he wants sexual assault survivors to feel more comfortable filing reports. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Nova Scotia's justice minister says he's committed to improving the trust between sexual assault victims and the justice system.

"We're seeing incident after incident and and it's disappointing and it's frustrating," said Mark Furey after a cabinet meeting Thursday.

"But I'll assure you, there is a focused effort within the Department of Justice to work toward solutions and providing additional supports."

Furey made the statement after being prompted by reporters to talk about the Halifax woman who said she was suing Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP for negligence after allegedly mishandling her rape case.

Carrie Low says she was abducted outside a Dartmouth, N.S., bar in May 2018 and raped by two men. She reported it to police, but what followed were months of delays, miscommunication and paperwork problems. (Robert Short/CBC)

"Obviously, these are circumstances that the survivor has taken exception to and she has chosen to pursue a course of action that she believes will provide her the best remedy," he said. 

Carrie Low and the lawyer representing her planned to file a lawsuit on Monday seeking damages against the city and the federal government.

Furey refused to discuss the details of the case, but said the biggest challenge the department faces is ensuring that survivors feel comfortable reporting sexual assaults.

"I'm committed to improving that and finding solutions," he said.

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Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the Nova Scotia provincial government was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by Carrie Low. In fact, the lawsuit only named two parties, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the federal government. This story has been corrected.
    Jan 31, 2020 4:16 PM AT

With files from Michael Gorman and Jean Laroche