October 20th, 2015

Changes to Partner Assault Response program putting women at risk: NDP

NDP MPP and Women’s Issues Critic Peggy Sattler called on the Premier to put a moratorium on changes to the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program this morning in Question Period. “Speaker, in April 2014, the government arbitrarily shortened the length of the Partner Assault Response program (the only government program for men who abuse), in order to cram through an additional 2,200 offenders. Across the province, violence against women agencies and PAR providers sounded the alarm about these changes. Hiatus House in Windsor and WomanACT in Toronto are no longer delivering PAR because they believe the changes are putting women at risk.“Everyone, except the government, understands that there is a crisis in the design and delivery of PAR programs.”PAR is a program for court-ordered offenders designed to help them control abusive behavioural patterns towards their partners. Sattler says collecting data from all PAR programs across the province and working with qualified researchers to analyze and interpret the data are essential to ensuring the program’s effectiveness and changing the behaviour of men who abuse. “As the Premier knows, you can’t make good policy without good data. Yet WomanACT was instructed to stop collecting data on PAR, perhaps because their data showed the new 12 week model was creating a revolving door and compromising the program’s effectiveness. “Speaker, why is the Premier refusing to listen to experts and frontline agencies, who are pleading for a halt to these changes and for meaningful consultation on the review of PAR?” Sattler asked.