As part of Budget 2016-2017, the province is continuing to help victims of domestic violence by renewing its investment in the domestic violence court in Sydney.
The Domestic Violence Court Program was developed to stop the cycle of domestic abuse and make life better for victims and their families.
“Violence in the home is extremely difficult for the victim and the entire family,” said MLA Derek Mombourquette, on behalf of Justice Minister Diana Whalen. “We need to continue supporting families to ensure the cycle of violence is stopped and that life at home is not filled with fear.”
The Domestic Violence Court Program has been operating in Sydney Provincial Court since June 2012 and sits once a week. More than 300 cases have proceeded through the program over the past four years.
The program is delivered through a partnership with the judiciary, the Department of Justice, the Public Prosecution Service, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, and the private bar.
This year, government will invest $398,000 in the court.
Participation in the Domestic Violence Court Program is voluntary and is for adults charged with an offence who have a significant connection to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. To participate, the accused must plead guilty of the offence and attend designated programming before being sentenced.
Sentencing options range from five- and 10-week educational programs to a 25-week therapeutic program.
An evaluation of the Domestic Violence Court Program can be viewed at http://novascotia.ca/just/documents/Final-Report%20April-2016.pdf .