The Coalition for Woman Abuse Policy and
Protocol in Prince Edward Island
Response to woman abuse: policy and protocol initiative
In 1991, after the murder of a PEI woman by her estranged husband, Justice C.R. McQuaid conducted an inquiry into
family violence policies and procedures for the police and Department of Justice. The resulting report indicated a need to
develop family violence policies and protocols in Prince Edward Island.
Not having comprehensive, collaborative and appropriate policies in place to respond to woman abuse, or having gaps in
existing policies, can result in inappropriate and unsafe responses by service providers. This can result in women not
receiving the support they need and can also discourage them from talking about the abuse. An inappropriate response can
delay intervention and result in further abuse. Having a co-ordinated response within government and community
organizations can help ensure that women receive safe and respectful responses from service providers across the Island.
The Coalition for Woman Abuse Policy and Protocol in Prince Edward Island was formed in 1998 to address the need for a
comprehensive woman abuse policy. It is a partnership of the Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention,
Transition House Association, Victim Services, the PEI Medical Society, Woman Abuse and the PEI Legal System
Research Team of the Muriel McQueen Ferguson Centre for Family Violence Research, the Aboriginal Women's
Association, the PEI Nurses Association, RCMP, The Learning Centre, the Family Violence Consultant for the Province of
PEI, the PEI Inter-Ministerial Women's Secretariat and the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
The goal of the Initiative is to reduce violence towards women by bringing together
to establish policy and protocol which
- front line service providers and policy makers in the areas of Education, Justice, Health and Social Services as well as
in professional associations and community organizations; and
- survivors of family violence.
and to plan strategies for effective implementation and sustainability.
- encourage safe, effective and appropriate responses to victims of family violence by service providers, within both
government and the community; and
- encourage disclosure and intervention at the earliest point;
The Project is being implemented in several phases: the Assessment Phase, the Development Phase, and the Implementation Phase.
A number of key factors have contributed to the continuing success of this initiative. They include:
- A committed Steering Committee whose members participate actively in the initiative and working groups;
- The generosity of the survivors of woman abuse and community organizations who continue to participate and share their
- The generosity of the Department of Health and Social Services and the Health Regions, and Office of the Attorney
General and their staff who participate in the working groups;
- The many financial and in-kind contributions from Status of Women Canada, the Government of P.E.I., Holland
College, Victim Services, Transition House Association, RCMP, Community Legal Information Association and the
Steering Committee members.