Source: (2003) Vancouver, BC: British Columbia Institute Against Family Violence. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

Jamala MacRae begins this paper by outlining the perspectives of the British Columbia Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR). VAWIR policy urges the justice system to emphasize the criminality of violence against women in intimate relationships. In this view, counseling and conciliation have not been effective in reducing the problems of violence in relationships; holding perpetrators criminally accountable serves women and society better. Therefore, according to VAWIR policy, diversion to alternative measures is not appropriate except in extraordinary circumstances. In this context, MacRae reviews relevant literature to examine pro-charge and pro-prosecution strategies in the Canadian criminal justice system. The aim is to explore the consequences of allowing Crown prosecutors the discretion to divert abusers to alternative measures prior to charge approval. As part of this study, MacRae also discusses the creation of domestic violence courts in Canada and the United States and their use of diversion as an alternative to prosecution.

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