Final Report of the Ad Hoc Federal–Provincial– Territorial Working Group Reviewing Spousal Abuse Policies and Legislation

The report presents an overview of the issue of spousal abuse in Canada. Spousal abuse appears to occur to both men and women. However, with the severity of violence suffered by women being much worse, it remains predominantly an issue against women. The report tracks the history of spousal abuse policies in Canada, and the experiences in the application of these policies, with the police. On this basis, three key objectives were identified in response to spousal abuse, including criminalizing spousal abuse, promoting the safety and security of the victim, and maintaining confidence in the administration of justice. It also reviewed innovation measures implemented by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to enhance the effectiveness of such policies. The report concludes that the innovative measures and approaches effectively support the implementation of spousal abuse policies and strengthen the criminal justice system's response to spousal abuse.