Expert on Domestic Homicide Makes National Headlines

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Prof. Myrna Dawson

Prof. Myrna Dawson, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, spoke to The Canadian Press about why domestic homicide rates are not dropping.

The article appeared in the Toronto Star, the National Post and several others.

Dawson is a co-director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative, which examines domestic homicide rates. The project’s latest numbers show that homicide rates remain virtually unchanged since the beginning of the multi-year project.

She said society needs to fundamentally change the way it views and responds to domestic violence, starting with the assumption that family violence is a private matter.

She said unless the attitudes that often get in the way of adequate responses change, any programs to address family and intimate partner violence are likely to miss their mark.

The research also received coverage on CBC.ca, with Dawson saying the fact that the highest rates of domestic homicide were found in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Manitoba — where Indigenous and rural populations are high — points to the potential impacts of “intersecting vulnerabilities.”

Global News Radio AM980 News (CFPL AM) also spoke with Dawson.

Dawson is the director of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability and the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice, and studies trends in and social and legal responses to violence against women.