Re-imagining Accountability for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: A Transformative Justice Perspective was the second panel in LEAF’s Personhood Speaker Series, and took place on November 30, 2020.

This panel focused on the potential for transformative justice to address harms, particularly for survivors of gender-based and sexual violence. Transformative justice looks to collective community action, and not traditional criminal justice processes, to address violence.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER SERIES

The Personhood Speaker Series created a space to discuss what makes a ‘person’ and whose voices need centering in conversations about gender equality in 2020 and beyond.

ABOUT THE PANEL

Our third panel focused on the potential for transformative justice to address harms, particularly for survivors of gender-based and sexual violence. Transformative justice looks to collective community action, and not traditional criminal justice processes, to address violence.

Transformative justice has grown out of the need for healing and accountability in Black and Indigenous communities where calling the police and other state agents has too often resulted in further violence and community disruption.

It recognizes that traditional criminal justice processes fail to address the needs of many, particularly those from Black and Indigenous communities. As we learned in summer of 2020, for too many Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, police and prisons are sources of violence, not safety.

Our panel featured Rachel Zellars, Lawyer and assistant professor at Saint Mary’s University, Aseefa Sarang, Executive Director of Across Boundaries, and Audrey Huntley, filmmaker and co-founder of “No More Silence”. Kai Cheng Thom, writer, performer, meditation teacher and community worker, moderated the discussion.

This panel discussion re-imagined what safety, accountability and justice could look like outside of the traditional criminal justice system. These speakers unpacked what calls to defund the police could mean for survivors of sexual and gendered violence. They discussed the possible role of community action – as opposed to police, government and traditional legal actors – in responding to the needs of women, girls and all those who experience gender-based violence.

You can watch a recording of the panel discussion below.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

This program has been accredited by the Law Society of Ontario and contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism content. For Nova Scotia lawyers, consider including this course as a CPD learning activity in your mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development Plan as required by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

SUPPORT OUR WORK

LEAF’s work is only possible with the generous support of our donors and funding partners. LEAF relies on donations to fund our work, including, law reform, research projects, and legal interventions. The Speaker Series was a ticketed event which attendees paid between $15-$100 to join. We are now offering the videos available for viewing on our website, but we ask that you please consider making a donation and help us continue to work towards justice and equality for all people – thank you!  


The funds raised through LEAF’s Personhood Speaker Series support our work to advance substantive equality rights in Canada through litigation, law reform and education.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this event possible: CUPE National, UFCW Canada, Delaney Capital Management, BMO, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Koskie Minsky LLP, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Goldblatt Partners LLP, The Law Society of Ontario, Stockwoods LLP, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, Kastner Lam, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Lerners LLP, AMAPCEO, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and Madame Premier.