Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette speaks during a news conference at the legislature, in Quebec City, on May 6, 2021.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Female victims of domestic and sexual violence in Quebec will be supported by a single, dedicated prosecutor from the start to the end of their legal proceedings, the Quebec government announced Thursday.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette told a news conference the government is investing $44 million over five years to hire about 40 more prosecutors who will focus on domestic and sexual violence cases.

Offering victims the chance to work with a dedicated prosecutor allows them to form a bond with that person, who can help victims navigate the legal system, Jolin-Barrette said. The new policy is one of 190 recommendations from a government-mandated report last December on how to improve the province’s approach to domestic and sexual violence.

Story continues below advertisement

“From the beginning to the end of the judicial process, it will be the same prosecutor, and they will take time with the victim to explain how (the legal process) will unfold,” he said.

Another $27 million over five years will be spent hiring and training more police officers to specialize in domestic violence cases. The money will also go toward monitoring suspects awaiting trial and for the creation of special units in the Montreal and Terrebonne, Que., police forces and in the Quebec provincial police.

“The main goals are to make sure that we have specialized staff in our police forces that only do cases of domestic violence to support the victim, to accompany them throughout the process with the justice system,” Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault told reporters.

The $71-million plan announced Thursday comes out of the $223 million in new funds set aside by the provincial government to fight domestic violence.

Quebec has been rattled by at least 10 femicides since the beginning of 2021.

In recent weeks, Guilbault has announced $92 million in funds for women’s shelters as well as an investment in programs to help violent men.

Justine Fortin of Juripop, a non-profit legal clinic, said a victim’s first contact with the legal system is with a police officer, who may not be trained to deal with domestic or sexual violence cases. It isn’t uncommon, Fortin said, for multiple prosecutors to be involved in a single case, leaving a victim to repeatedly recount her story.

Story continues below advertisement

In domestic violence prosecutions, those details – the victim’s version of events – are key to the case the Crown brings before a judge, she said.

“So all those details that is the story of the victim will be shared with one prosecutor and there will be that relationship of confidence that will be built,” Fortin said of the new policy. “That will help the victim work through this very hard journey that is our criminal system right now.”

Advocates for victims of violence welcomed the changes.

Manon Monastesse with Quebec’s federation of women’s shelters, the Federation des maisons d’hebergement pour femmes, says better training for police is important because officers are the front-line allies of victims.

She said in a statement she is hopeful the single prosecutor approach will help, noting that one-third of women in shelters refuse to file a complaint.

“Filing a complaint and embarking on the legal process is a difficult journey for women victims of violence,” Monastesse said. “They must be accompanied by integrated and continuous services.”

Story continues below advertisement

Jolin-Barrette said the province is looking at creating a court that specializes in domestic and sexual violence cases but didn’t commit to a timeline. A working group established in February is to report back soon on the issue.

“My wish and the wish of the Quebec government is to set up a specialized tribunal,” Jolin-Barrette said, noting it was the arguably the most important of the recommendations in the December report.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies