The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic was created in memory of Barbra Teena Schlifer, an idealistic young lawyer who was murdered in Toronto on the day of her call to the Bar of Ontario, April 11, 1980.
She was returning home from celebrating this milestone, when she was brutally sexually assaulted and killed by Fernard Arthur Robinson in the basement stairwell of her apartment building.
Barbra’s death changed the lives of those who were close to her and they resolved to use her tragedy as a springboard for changing the world. Frances Rappaport and Patricia Ashby, who had once planned to be her law partners, decided to establish a clinic in Barbra’s honour to make the difference that Barbra had hoped to make as a lawyer.
In September 1985, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic opened its doors at 188 Dupont Street in Toronto.
On April 11 of that same year the Mayor of Toronto, Art Eggleton, proclaimed April 11th Barbra Schlifer Day. It had been five years since her death.
Since its doors opened, the Schlifer Clinic has grown in size and significance, and now has a staff of more than 35 people and a budget above $3 million. We help more than 4,000 women a year.
The Clinic currently receives referrals from countless community-based agencies, as well as medical, legal and justice professionals, religious organizations and individuals concerned about violence against women.