The Yukon Advocate Case Review Project is being coordinated by the Yukon Status of Women Council
The Yukon Status of Women Council is a Territorial, feminist collective striving to achieve women's equality through research, education and public policy work. The Yukon Status of Women Council is also one of the signatories of Together for Safety.
Together for Safety aims to bolster the dignity of women who are victims of crime by encouraging compassionate responses
The signatories of Together for Safety include: Whitehorse RCMP, Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle, Yukon Women's Transition Home Society, Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre, Public Service Alliance Aboriginal People's Committee and Regional Women's Committee, Yukon Status of Women Council, and Les Essentielles.
Why is this review happening?
The rate of sexualized assault in Yukon is 3.5 times higher than the provincial average. The number of sexualized assaults in Yukon that are deemed "unfounded" (or labelled as not having basis in fact) is also high compared with Canada's national average (25% in Yukon compared to 19% national average).
As a result, the Yukon Status of Women Council is collaborating with Yukon's RCMP, Crown and Judiciary to conduct a review of Yukon's legal responses to sexualized assault cases. Borrowing from what is known as "The Philadelphia Case Review Model" and much of what has become known as the unfounded work that is being done in other cities across North America, this project is a collaborative and constructive analysis of the ways in which Yukon's legal system can better respond to victims of sexualized assault. The project will be conducted over three years. Sexualized assault files not cleared by charge by RCMP, as well as stay of proceedings, acquittals, withdrawals, and not-guilty verdicts by the Crown and Judiciary will be collaboratively reviewed and analyzed. The aim of this project is to provide feedback to all three legal sectors as a means to leverage systemic changes such that it is safer for survivors of sexualized assault to report the crime.
The infographic was obtained from The Globe and Mail.
The Problem is Systemic and Cyclical
Adapted from Michelle Madden Dempsey, J.D., LL.M., D.Phil (Ph.D.)
One of the most sensational Canadian projects that has informed the Yukon Advocate Case Review is the work done by the Globe and Mail's investigative journalist Robyn Doolittle.
For nearly two years a team of Globe and Mail journalists dug into the figures and the people behind alleged sexualized assault cases which police can deem "unfounded.' Unfounded is a coding category used by police after an "... investigation has determined that no violation or attempted violation of the law took place."
Philadelphia Case Review Model:
In the year 2000, Carol Tracy - a woman's advocate from Philadelphia - spearheaded the development of a process to review police files of sexualized assault
Now regarded as the Philadelphia Case Review Model, this protocol will inform much of the review work that the Yukon Advocate Case Review project aims to do. One of the biggest differences, though, is that we will be reviewing not only the RCMP, but also the Crown and the Judiciary decisions.