Home Who We Are Our History

Our History

E-mail Print

The London Coordinating Committee to End Woman Abuse has had a long and impassioned history, commitment and accountability to the needs of abused women, their children, and partners.

Following the opening of Women’s Community House in June 1978, there was an increased need for expanded and coordinated services to victims of woman abuse. In 1980, the Solicitor General awarded a research grant to the London Family Court Clinic for a research project to determine the effectiveness of the criminal justice system’s response to woman abuse in London. A requirement of the grant was the development of an advisory committee to manage the study and analyze the research. In response to this invitation, the LCCEWA was born. Community professionals representing the Police, Probation and Parole, Women’s Community House, representatives from the Criminal Justice system, and others, came together to exchange information, address significant service gaps and lack of coordination, and to identify common challenges in order to advocate for systemic legislative change.

In response to the research report, released in February 1981, which recommended, among other things, that police lay charges in all cases of wife assault, the London Police, through the strong support of key figures including Inspector John Robinson and then Chief Walter Johnson, formalized a new policy that instructed officers to lay charges in all cases where there were reasonable and probable grounds to believe an assault on a woman had taken place. The policy was groundbreaking and ensured that justice would be pursued when women were at their most vulnerable.

In addition, in order to adopt more responsive and comprehensive responses to woman abuse, in 1982, two London Probation and Parole officers – Roger Newell and Trevor Jones – established a men’s counselling service, now known as Changing Ways, a crucial program that challenged men to take responsibility for their abusive behaviour.

Membership in the LCCEWA has expanded to include a wide range of community partners dedicated to a coordinated and integrated response to woman abuse. The establishment of other vital agencies like London Abused Women’s Centre, Madame Vanier Children’s Service, Victim/Witness Assistance Program and others, has strengthened the community’s ability to respond compassionately, ensuring a consistent and committed response to ending violence against women.