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Press Release: SECOND Circle of Support Gathering

A SECOND Circle of Support will gather in front of the Saskatoon Provincial Court Office located at 220 19th Street East on Friday, Sept. 2 at 12:00 p.m. in support of Dawn Walker’s legal defense as a survivor of trauma and violence.

This circle represents the larger circle of women, survivors, men, advocates, leaders and members of the public who support and stand with Dawn Walker in stopping the criminalization of survivors of violence and calling for her release on bail.

We support Dawn’s release because she consented to coming back to Canada to face her charges, she is a survivor of violence who deserves understanding from the justice system and her primary priority is being reunited with her son.

In Saskatchewan and nationally, multiple leaders and organizations have noted that women, especially Indigenous women, are over-victimized by male intimate partner violence and under-protected by the criminal justice system.

A House of Commons petition to the federal Minister of Justice authorized by Member of Parliament, Randall Garrison, Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, New Democratic Party, calls attention to “the urgency of tabling legislation in the House that would add a coercive and controlling behaviour offence to the Criminal Code of Canada without delay.”

Such a provision to the criminal code would better enable the police and justice system to effectively intervene in situations of coercive and controlling behaviour not captured in current criminal law.

Female victims of intimate partner violence too often have difficulty being believed, because it is difficult to prove such abuse. Too often the courts do not take intimate partner violence seriously despite its prevalence and its role as a major contributor to women’s deaths worldwide. Shockingly, Saskatchewan compared to other provinces has had a very high or has the highest rate of intimate partner violence.

Matthew Behrens is the director of Women Who Choose to Live, a volunteer national network that supports women who have been criminalized for trying to escape male violence.

How many individual cases, how many public inquiries, how many MMIWG reports does it take to recognize that Dawn – like thousands of other Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in this land – daily face the scourge of male violence against women and children without the safety, supports, and resources they require?” said Behrens. “We fully support Dawn and call for the dropping of all charges and for the systemic changes (including the long unfulfilled promise to implement a National Action Plan to End Male Violence Against Women and Girls) needed to ensure the many Dawns who face impossible choices can receive the support they so richly deserve.”

How many more mothers have to flee their homes with their children to keep them safe before the justice system, which includes the police, really listens to them, and helps them rather than further harms them?

Local domestic violence survivor and advocate Andrèa Ledding continues to encourage women who have issues with the way the SPS has handled their cases to step forward and add their voices to her formal complaint against SPS filed on behalf of Dawn Walker and other women on Monday August 8th, 2022.

You can find more information about Dawn at:

You can find more information about the HofC petition here:

For further information, please contact:

Andréa Ledding, [insert phone number & email]

Matthew Behrens, Women Who Choose to Live, (613) 300-9536

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