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Canada Quebec announces creation of expert panel to improve support for sexual assault, domestic violence victims

Helene David of the Liberal party, Quebec Justice Minister Sonia Lebel, Veronique Hivon of the PQ and Christine Labrie of Quebec Solidaire, left to right, listen to a question after announcing the formation of a committee of experts to look at improving support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims, in Montreal, on March 18, 2019.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Quebec government has announced the creation of an expert panel to look at improving support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

Justice Minister Sonia LeBel is convening the panel two months after Quebec’s four main political parties held a non-partisan meeting on the issue.

LeBel, Helene David of the Liberals, Veronique Hivon of the Parti Quebecois, and Christine Labrie of Quebec solidaire were together again for today’s announcement in Montreal.

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The panel is being given a year to evaluate the experiences of sexual assault or domestic violence victims within the justice system. It will look at measures already in place and study options to provide more sustained support.

LeBel says she is concerned about how victims feel they are treated and their lack of faith in the justice system.

The panel will consist of a former chief judge of the court of Quebec, academics, a provincial police representative, lawyers, frontline workers and victims’ advocates.

Some organizations that work with victims say funding will have to be increased for organizations that provide support.

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