Women's group says advice was ignored


Fri, April 7, 2006

The key to preventing tragedies like the murder of Francine Mailly and her three children may be learning from past crimes, crisis intervention workers say.

At a Crime Prevention Centre forum today, the Regional Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women will ask the province to disclose which recommendations emerging from past inquests have been implemented.

An inquest jury into the 2002 shooting death of Gillian Hadley by her husband Ralph, (who then took his own life), made 58 recommendations to prevent domestic violence. But RCCEVAW ex-chairwoman Bonnie Stephanson said few have been followed.

"Part of the problem is that there's not enough direct communication between the provincial government and community groups and social services that work with women," said Stephanson, a counsellor at Somerset West Community Health Centre.

She said one recommendation from the Hadley inquest that has been adopted is a legal amendment making past violence against children, spouses or relatives a factor when courts consider a person's ability to act as a parent.

Christine Culham, the current chairwoman of RCCEVAW, said she hopes the forum will help draw more long-term attention to the issue of violence against women.

"It seems that the only time attention is drawn to this is when we have this kind of tragic incident," Culham said.