Much has been happening at the Barbra Schlifer Clinic. Find out who we have hired, who we’ve said farewell to and learn about some of the initiatives we have been involved in over the past few months.
- This year’s number of domestic-related homicides concerning, CityNews, March 16, 2018
- Domestic Violence Can Be Prevented If People Spot Warnings Signs: Experts, Canadian Press, March 16, 2018
- Triple slaying in Ajax the latest in a string of GTA domestic homicides this year, Toronto Star, March 15, 2018
- Ruling by Ontario judge aims to make bail courts less risk-averse, Globe and Mail, February 15
- The #metoo moment is important, but don’t forget the last one, Toronto Star, January 31
- #Metoo movement prompting sexual-assault survivors to break silence to family, Canadian Press, January 31
- What’s at stake with how fast the #metoo movement is going?, CBC MetroMorning, January 29
- In the wake of #MeToo, a Toronto legal clinic sees ‘astronomical’ jump in sexual assault help requests, CBC, January 28
London adopts U.N. sexual violence strategy. Should Toronto?, CityNews, September 20
- RCMP tips on sexual assault a sign of systemic problem, say Toronto advocates, Metro News, August 20
Ontario’s top court tosses out convictions in sex-assault case, Globe and Mail, August 10 (subscription required)
Dangerous rape myths persist in our courts: Opinion, Toronto Star, July 24
- Overturned verdict in Mandi Gray sex assault trial affects all parties, lawyer says, Toronto Star, July 20
New trial ordered for Toronto man accused of sexually assaulting Mandi Gray, CBC News, July 20
The Incest Diary: New memoir chronicles the devastating legacy of family sexual abuse, Globe and Mail, July 17 (subscription required)
Bill to clean up Criminal Code clarifies sex assault laws, Toronto Star, June 6
A year after Ghomeshi verdict, sexual violence experts see ‘significant advances’, Toronto Star, March 26
Paralegals in family courts not the solution, Toronto Star, March 19
Barrie woman’s suicide leaves sexual assault case in jeopardy, Toronto Star, January 16
- NYPD captain under fire for saying ‘stranger rapes’ more troubling than others, Global News, January 9
- Sobering new TTC sex-assault numbers released, Toronto Star, October 31
- Expect to see more video in sex assault trials, CBC online, October 8
- No capacity to consent, judge rules in sex assault case, Toronto Star, October 7, 2016
- ‘This is war:’ The story of a WWII reconnaissance photographer; CBC.ca, August 15, 2016
- Inquiry into Judge Robin Camp to hear from advocates for sex assault victims; CBC.ca, July 27, 2016
- Alberta judge overturns sexual assault acquittal: ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes’; Toronto Star, July 26, 2016
- “This work set my soul on fire,” says U of T law grad; U of T News, July 25, 2016
- Here’s How Ontario’s New Free Legal Advice For Sexual Assault Survivors Will Work; VICE, June 30, 2016
- Free Legal Advice for Survivors of Sexual Assault; Government of Ontario News, June 28, 2016
- The trouble with sex assault trials; Canadian Lawyer Magazine, May 2, 2016
- Will Ghomeshi verdict have a chill effect on future sex assault cases?; Globe and Mail, March 25, 2016
- Can the Ghomeshi trial lead to change?; Globe and Mail, March 24, 2016
- Ghomeshi’s verdict highlights what’s wrong with justice system:Experts; Winnipeg Free Press, March 24, 2016
- Jian Ghomeshi verdict could have lasting impact on sexual assault victims; The Guardian, March 23, 2016
- How politeness conditioning can lead to confusion about sexual assaults; Globe and Mail, March 20, 2016
- In a Canadian first, survivors of sexual violence will get free legal advice in Ontario pilot program; National Post, March 11, 2016
- Why We Must Continue The Conversation About Domestic Violence; Huffington Post, March 8. 2016
- Global Voices: Impact of gender violence reaches far and wide; Times Colonist, March 8, 2016
- No right to a discriminatory defence: An honest conversation is needed about how to protect full answer and defence without resorting to misogynist standards; Toronto Star, February 4, 2016
- Why the Jian Ghomeshi trial may change nothing for sexual assault survivors: The case prompted a helpful public conversation, but nothing has changed in how courts deal with the crime, Toronto Star, January 30, 2016.
November 20, 2017
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic joins as a public interest plaintiff in ‘unfounded’ lawsuit against the London Police Service
TORONTO, November 20, 2017 — The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic has joined as a plaintiff in the ‘unfounded’ lawsuit against the London Police Service (LPS) for its discriminatory investigation and dismissal of sexual assault cases between 2010 – 2017. We base our claim on our multi-decade experience of the ongoing and systemic discrimination sexual assault survivors face when seeking legal redress for sexual assault. We join the two individual claimants in demanding fundamental change as to how the London Police Service handles sexual assault crimes, based on our expertise as Canada’s only gender-based violence, multi-service clinic.
July 20, 2017
Overturning of conviction signals need for mandatory judicial education in sexual assault
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is disheartened by today’s decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice overturning the guilty verdict in the sexual assault trial of Mustafa Ururyar.
The trial judge convicted Mr. Ururyar on July 21, 2016. Both Ms. Gray and Mr. Ururyar testified at trial. After extensive cross-examination, the judge found Ms. Gray’s account of the sexual assault to be credible and was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault had occurred as she described it. The Superior Court’s decision to allow Mr. Ururyar’s appeal of this verdict and set aside his conviction on grounds related solely to deficiencies in the trial judge’s explanation for his conclusions represent a failure in the system for Ms. Gray.
May 9, 2017
Loly Rico Announced as the 2017 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Recipient
Toronto, Tuesday, May 9, 2017 – The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is proud to announce Loly Rico as the 2017 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award recipient. Loly is the co-director and founder of FCJ Refugee Centre and an undisputed leader for the rights of refugee women facing violence. The Award, sponsored by Torys LLP, is given annually to a woman whose work is dedicated to improving the lives of women experiencing violence.
April 3, 2017
Police Officers and Rape Culture: The Silencing of Sexual Assault Survivors
Toronto, April 3, 2017—The Barbra Schlifer Clinic applauds the decision of Ava Williams to launch her constitutional challenge to the London Police Services.
The Clinic has read the statement of claim and supports Ms. Williams and her lawyers in their pursuit of the individual and social remedy for the personal and systemic breach of Charter rights her case represents.
March 10, 2017
Resignation of Justice Robin Camp: A watershed moment for women survivors of sexual assault
TORONTO, March 10, 2017 —The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre are relieved at the news of Justice Camp’s resignation as a member of the Federal Court of Canada. As the Front Line Interveners in the disciplinary proceeding representing countless women survivors of sexual assault, we agree with the Canadian Judicial Council’s (CJC) comments that Justice Camp’s conduct was “manifestly and profoundly destructive” to the impartiality and integrity of the bench.
November 22, 2016
Expressive Arts Therapy Group launches #WeBelieveSurvivors, a Ceramic Art Exhibit by women survivors of violence
The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Gardiner Museum have partnered for more than a decade to offer women who have survived all forms of violence with an Expressive Arts Therapy Group. Led by art therapist Suzanne Thomson and ceramic artist Jessica Cooper, the Group’s participants will share their work and raise public awareness about violence against women in a sensitive, informed and compelling art exhibit that will open on December 6, 2016, at the Gardiner Museum.
October 25, 2016
Canada held to account for its disappointing women’s rights record by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Joint Statement by Canadian Civil Society Organizations
Today Canada’s record of women’s equality is under the spotlight at the United Nations in Geneva. The 65th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women happens at an opportune moment for Canadian women. Canada has a new federal government with a Prime Minister who says he is a feminist, calls for a nation-to-nation relationship, and acknowledges that “poverty is sexist”. We know words matter, but now we need action.
June 28, 2016
Deepa Mattoo joins Barbra Schlifer Clinic as new Legal Director
With more than 17 years of experience providing direct Human Rights related services as well as public education, social justice and advocacy, Deepa brings a deeply intersectional approach to women’s rights. She played an instrumental role in successfully influencing immigration policies for extending abuse exception for the conditional permanent residence in sponsorship situation to Forced Marriage Survivors and opposing Bill S7 (Barbaric Cultural Practices).
May 12, 2016
Barbra Schlifer Clinic awards human rights and migrant labour advocate Fay Faraday as its annual award recipient
On June 9, at the Daniels Spectrum Arts Center in Regent Park, The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic will award Fay Faraday this year’s Torys LLP sponsored Annual Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award.