Pamela Cross

Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer; a well-known and respected expert on violence against women and the law for her work as a researcher, writer, educator and trainer. She is the Legal Director of Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre in Durham Region, where she leads the organization’s provincial projects, including research, training and advocacy.

She has also been a member of the teaching faculty with the National Judicial Institute, and continues to plan and deliver educational programs on violence against women to Canadian judges. In 2012, she developed violence against women curriculum for law schools in a project with the Law Commission of Ontario.

Pamela has worked with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, most notably as the co-author of “Muslim and Canadian Family Laws: A Comparative Primer” and as the author of “Violence Against Women: Health and Justice for Canadian Women,” as well as delivering workshops on family law to CCMW members.

Pamela’s most recent paper is “When Shared Parenting and the Safety of Women and Children Collide,” published in 2016. With funding from the federal Department of Justice, she led a team that conducted research into the use of family violence screening tools for family law practitioners. The final report, entitled “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: The importance of family violence screening tools for family law practitioners”, includes a draft screening tool.

In her role as Luke’s Place Legal Director, Pamela is the lead trainer for Ontario’s Family Court Support Workers, providing both in-person and online training and support for approximately 100 frontline workers who assist abused women in family court. She recently completed the delivery of domestic violence awareness training to approximately 2,500 Legal Aid Ontario staff, community clinics and lawyers across the province. She was also Co-Chair of the Violence Against Women Roundtable, which provided guidance to the provincial government on this issue.

Pamela is the 2019 recipient of both the Laura Legge Award from the Law Society of Ontario and the Guthrie Award from the Law Foundation of Ontario, as well as a 2015 recipient of the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction for her work on the issue of violence against women.

She is a frequent speaker at provincial, national and international conferences. She is also a regular commentator on violence against women and the law for print media, radio and television across Canada.

Pamela is not able to provide assistance or legal advice in individual cases. For information about the mandate and services of Luke’s Place and about family court support services available across Ontario to victims of domestic violence, please click here ‘For Women’

Learn more about Pamela on her website, pamelacross.ca.

Selected publications

  • A Girl’s Guide to Knowing her Rights, YWCA Canada, 2009
  • Bill C-22: What Now?Jurisfemme, National Association of Women and the Law, Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 2004
  • In Whose Best Interests?Jurisfemme, National Association of Women and the Law, Volume 2o, Number 4, Spring/Summer 2001
  • “Family Law: A Canadian Perspective,” Children and Domestic Violence: Still Walking on Eggshells, Domestic Violence Action and Resources Magazine, Issue 12, December 2001
  • “Children’s Safety: Contradiction in the System,” Children and Domestic Violence: Still Walking on Eggshells, Domestic Violence Action and Resources Magazine, Issue 12, December 2001