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Domestic Violence Court Program Expands to Halifax

By on October 22, 2019

first_imgA new specialty court program in Halifax will support healthier relationships and help protect survivors of domestic violence and their families from future abuse. The province’s second domestic violence court program officially opened today, Feb. 28, at the Provincial Court on Spring Garden Road. Judge Amy Sakalauskas of the provincial court will preside over the court which will sit one day a week. The first cases will be heard next week. Nova Scotia’s first Domestic Violence Court Program opened in Sydney in 2012. It handles about 300 cases per year. Both courts offer earlier intervention through programs for individuals who commit abuse, to help them change their behaviour and prevent future violence. “Domestic violence has touched far too many lives and we know that women and their children are the primary victims,” said Kelly Regan, minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, on behalf of Justice Minister Mark Furey. “”The court program will focus on supporting survivors right away. “”Building on what we learned from the program in Sydney, and expanding it to Halifax Regional Municipality, will help us intervene earlier, making our communities safer.” These programs represent a different way to address intimate partner violence. Unlike a traditional court, which is adversarial, the Domestic Violence Court Program is more therapeutic, using a co-ordinated community response that quickly connects family members to services and supports where they live. The accused person must also accept responsibility for their actions and commit to participate. “A significant part of this program involves monitoring the progress of offenders and supporting that person, as well as the victim and their loved ones, throughout recovery,” said Chief Judge of the provincial and family courts, Pamela Williams. “We rely on organizations working in the community for that ongoing support, which is why it was so important to have those groups at the table when we developed the program. This is truly a collaborative and more holistic approach to dealing with family violence.” More than 50 representatives from 25 local community organizations and various government departments helped the Department of Justice with the planning and development of programs and supports for families who will use the court. “We are very excited to see Nova Scotia’s domestic violence court become a reality in the Halifax area.” said Heather Byrne, executive director of Alice Housing. “We look forward to seeing how this court program will help Alice Housing clients and others who have experienced domestic violence stay safe and enable their voices to be heard.” “This new court is an excellent example of community, government and the judiciary working together to make meaningful change,” said Wendy Keen, executive director of New Start Counselling. “This has truly been a very honest and open engagement that is focused on creating a respectful, just and caring response to people affected by domestic violence.” For more information on the court, visit http://www.courts.ns.ca/Provincial_Court/NSPC_domestic_violence_court.htmlast_img read more

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Prosecutor No charges in toxic tea incident that nearly killed woman at

By on October 4, 2019

Prosecutor: No charges in toxic tea incident that nearly killed woman at Utah restaurant by Brady McCombs, The Associated Press Posted Sep 26, 2014 10:30 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email SALT LAKE CITY – No charges will be filed in the case of a customer who nearly died after unknowingly drinking iced tea mixed with chemicals at a suburban Salt Lake City restaurant, prosecutors said Friday.But Dickey’s Barbecue isn’t off the hook just yet: Jan Harding and her family will enter into mediation with the restaurant later this year to try to reach a monetary agreement, her attorney said. If that doesn’t work, they’ll file a lawsuit.Harding and her family accept the decision by Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill and are glad the investigation is complete, their lawyer Paxton Guymon said.“I agree that there was no intent to injure, but the level of recklessness on a number of fronts was so egregious that it was a train wreck waiting to happen,” Guymon said. “Somebody was going to get hurt. … There was very poor management, poor training. There were a lot of things that could have been differently to prevent this from happening.”The Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. didn’t immediately have any comment. The company earlier said the incident was isolated and unprecedented in the chain’s 73-year history.Authorities have said an employee at Dickey’s Barbecue in South Jordan unintentionally put the heavy-duty cleaner lye in a sugar bag, and another worker on Aug. 10 mistakenly mixed it into an iced-tea dispenser.Later that day, Harding took a single sip of the sweetened iced tea while out to eat with her husband, and suffered deep, ulcerated burns to her esophagus. She was hospitalized in critical condition.Lye, an odourless chemical that looks like sugar, is used for degreasing deep fryers and is the active ingredient in Drano.Harding, 67, spent nearly two weeks in a Salt Lake City hospital. She has been out of the hospital for weeks but still hasn’t regained her sense of taste, her lawyer said.She continues to see doctors about the damage to her esophagus. She also still suffers some emotional distress.“It’s been challenging for her to go out and eat,” Guymon said. “There’s still some lingering anxiety.”Gill said Friday that after an extensive police investigation, prosecutors determined there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.They analyzed more than 700 hours of video from inside the restaurant, along with interviews with several current and former employees and business partners, he said. They also reviewed another lye incident at the restaurant in July, when a worker burned herself when she stuck her finger into a sugar container and licked it to test for the chemical cleaner.“There were certainly errors or mishaps that occurred, but none of that rose to the level of what we were charged to do: Look for criminal charges,” Gill said.Harding’s family is tentatively scheduled to meet with Dickey’s Barbecue representatives in November to see if they can reach a monetary agreement, Guymon said. They also want the chain to change how its restaurants handle dangerous substances to ensure nothing like this happens again, he said.Harding and her Baptist minister husband, Jim Harding, declined to comment Friday. They previously said they were not angry with anyone at Dickey’s and decided to share their story in hopes that other restaurants will take measures to prevent something similar from happening, perhaps by adding colored dye to chemicals.“My clients are really adamant that this is about more than money,” Guymon said. “That’s why the mediation approach is the right one to try at this point. If you go to court, you can’t necessarily force them to adopt some new policy.” read more

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