hands on a book

Update: This report on family violence screening is now available on the Department of Justice website.

We are excited to announce that Luke’s Place has recently completed a research project with funding from the federal Department of Justice that looks at family violence screening tools for family law practitioners.

Many women are uncomfortable disclosing abuse in their relationship to their lawyer, especially early in their working relationship. As a result, the lawyer may be unaware of important issues related to the safety of the woman and her children and may not offer appropriate legal options with respect to custody and access, in particular.

Family violence screening at the beginning of a woman’s family law case can create an environment in which the woman feels more comfortable sharing details of the abuse and the lawyer can provide meaningful legal advice. In the long run, it can lead to better family court outcomes and greater safety for women and children.

Luke’s Place partnered with academic researchers to conduct this research, which included an analysis of more than 80 screening tools currently in use in a number of sectors and an extensive academic and grey literature review as well as informational interviews with key informants.

The final report, expected to be published later this spring by the Department of Justice, includes recommendations for next steps as well as a draft screening tool.

Are you a lawyer looking for tips on managing family violence issues with clients? Enroll in our online training Effective Lawyering with Clients Leaving Abusive Relationships.