Long-awaited provincial domestic homicide review to be released next week

The province is set to publish its review of domestic homicides next week, months after it was expected.

NDP asks for one-time panel to be made permanent

A review panel studied six cases of domestic homicide which took place between 2004 and 2015. (CBC)

The province is set to publish its review of domestic homicides next week, months after it was expected.

The review was supposed to be made public last December. Minister of Justice Don Morgan said he could not give a reason why it took longer than expected. He said many ministries were working together on it.

The review panel studied six cases of domestic homicide which took place between 2004 and 2015. The panel was comprised of the chief coroner, domestic violence workers and police officers.

From 2005-2014, 48 Saskatchewan people were killed in domestic violence situations. Their cases have informed the province’s first domestic violence death review. (Regina Leader-Post, Obituary, Legacy.com, InMememorian.com, ObitTree.com, AfterLife.com, Facebook)

NDP justice critic Nicole Sarauer says the panel should be permanent and ongoing.

"When we have the highest rates of domestic violence in the country we should be doing at least as much as other provinces are and province's like Ontario have that ongoing Domestic Violence Death Review Panel. That's something that we should see provided in this province as well," she said.

Morgan said cases that came after 2015 could be studied.

"It wasn't intended when it started to be an ongoing database but I think it's probably a sound idea to continue to look at new cases when they come along to see what you can learn and to see if we're making any progress," Morgan said.

NDP justice critic Nicole Sarauer says the province should make its domestic violence review ongoing. (CBC)

Sarauer said on Thursday that the province should also be looking at an overall strategy for sexual assault, as Saskatchewan is the only province without one. She said sexual assault is a separate issue from domestic violence and the two should not be conflated.

"The minister continues to talk about this report when we're talking about sexual assault and they're different. We need a strategy for domestic violence in this province but we also need a strategy for sexual assault," Sarauer said.

Last May, former Minister of Justice Gord Wyant said the province was talking with domestic violence groups on developing a strategy around the issue.

Initial findings released in May 2017

An initial review found that between 2005 and 2014, 48 people were killed in domestic homicides and nine perpetrators took their own lives, for a total of 57 deaths.

The review panel released an interim report in May. It found that:

  • The majority of the victims were female, and the majority of the perpetrators male.
  • Over one-third of the victims were under the age of 21.
  • Nearly two-thirds of victims were attacked in their own home.
  • Nine boys under the age of three were victims and five girls under the age of 10 were killed.

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 11 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca