Feb. 12, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The first meeting of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee was held recently. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John W. Foran made the announcement today.
The committee serves as an advisory body to the Office of the Chief Coroner. It reviews the facts and circumstances related to the deaths of all persons in New Brunswick where domestic violence was involved.
"The issue of domestic violence is very complex, and it is essential that we learn from these tragic situations," Foran said. "Establishing this committee allows us to learn from domestic violence deaths; to identify the steps we can take to prevent domestic violence; and to eliminate its impact on families and society."
The committee is chaired by Jérôme Ouellette, acting deputy chief coroner. It has 10 members from a variety of fields, including social work, family violence, policing and violence prevention.
As part if its initial work, the committee has commissioned an analysis of domestic violence deaths in the province over a 10-year period (1999 - 2008). This will be conducted by the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research.
This study is expected to be completed by this fall, and it will help the committee to identify risk factors and trends. It will also make recommendations.
Health Minister Mary Schryer, who is also the minister responsible for the status of women, said that the establishment of this committee is another example of the provincial government's commitment to addressing domestic violence.
"I appreciate the work of my cabinet colleagues in supporting the establishment of this committee; and the work of the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Department of Public Safety on this file," said Schryer. "One death is one death too many."
Another multi-disciplinary committee that will advise the chief coroner is the Child Death Review Committee. In place since 1997, the committee has been transferred to the Office of the Chief Coroner from the Department of Social Development. Its mandate is to review the facts and circumstances related to the sudden and unexpected deaths of all children younger than 19.
The role of both committees is consistent with the chief coroner's mandate to investigate all sudden and unexpected deaths, including recommendations for any systemic changes arising from the case circumstances.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is a list of the members of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. MEDIA CONTACTS: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267; Sonya Gilks, communications, Women's Issues Branch, 506-444-3506.
The members of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee