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ABOUT IN THEIR BEST INTEREST CANADA

In Their Best Interest Canada is a registered non-profit organization that aims to support and protect parents and children fleeing from family violence. We believe that every child deserves to live in a safe and healthy environment, free from violence and abuse. Our goal is to improve access to justice by providing resources and support to those affected by family violence, to empower them to rebuild their lives, and to help secure a better future for themselves and their children.

Photo by Prakasit Kuhansuwan at vecteezy.com/free-photos

In Their Best Interest Canada was founded by five women who can not remain silent during a time when the nation and it's provinces should formally declare Intimate Partner Violence to be an epidemic, as recommended by the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission and jury of the Renfrew County Inquest. 

 

Mothers themselves, Abby, Alana, Kate, Melanie and Shannon found themselves consistently commenting on the same Tweets and eventually developed a friendship built on shared values and a desire for change. Grieving mothers like Sarah Cotton and Jennifer Kagan, who have suffered the unimaginable loss of their children at the hands of a parent who was supposed to love them, in the wake of family court proceedings that failed to protect them, should not be alone in sounding the alarm. 

 

The truth is that any of our children could be taken from us in the same manner unless there is a seismic shift in our collective understanding of what constitutes family violence and the true risk of failing to hold abusive individuals accountable.

 

Why "In Their Best Interest"

 

Section 16 of Canada's Divorce Act details the factors that judges are to consider when determining which parenting-time and decision-making arrangements are in the best interest of the children in question. 

As of March 1, 2021, section 16 instructs judges to consider all forms of family violence, defied as, "any conduct, whether or not the conduct constitutes a criminal offence, by a family member towards another family member, that is violent or threatening or that constitutes a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour or that causes that other family member to fear for their own safety or for that of another person — and in the case of a child, the direct or indirect exposure to such conduct."

Despite these changes, domestic violence organizations and researchers continue to report downplaying or outright dismissal of family violence by the judiciary. In family court the phrase "in their best interest" becomes offensive to victims of violence, as their well-founded fears for their children are ignored and their voices are silenced.

 

Any decision that places children in harm's way due to wilful ignorance is unlawful, and against the fundamental principals of justice. We are here to remind Canada's decision-makers that family violence is never in the best interest of children. We will not allow it to continue to be ignored and we hope you will join us in this endeavour.

The suggestion that domestic abuse or family violence has no impact on the children and ha
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