The Defence of Provocation
Along with abolition of mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment for murder and offences involving a firearm, NAWL recommends abolition of the defence of provocation.
71% of all women who are homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. Men are most likely to kill when a woman leaves or attempts to end the relationship. The attack is a final assertion of control over the woman. In contrast, women are most likely to kill in response to violence by their mates.
The defence of provocation is founded on the idea that the victim has “caused” the murderer to lose his self-control. It is an obvious form of victim blaming. In the courts, any assertion of a woman’s autonomy -- her drive for independence, self-respect, and security -- may be considered as provocation of a deadly assault.
NAWL has spoken out to criticize the law’s sexist assumptions that lay the blame for male violence on female behaviour.
- Women and the Family
- Women, Work and Equality
- Social and Economic Rights
- Violence Against Women
- Immigration and Refugee Law
- Women’s Human Rights
- Women and Politics
- Stolen Sisters: 500 Aboriginal Women are Missing or Dead
- Jurisfemme Articles on Violence Against Women
- Agency and Urgency: An Advocacy Project on the Defence of Provocation
- The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women
- Rape Shield Provisions Upheld