Domestic Violence Action Team (Details)

Name of province/ territory:


City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

The Lethbridge Domestic Violence Action Team (DVAT) is a collaborative effort of partnering agencies in Lethbridge for sharing information and addressing topical issues to ensure a consistent response to domestic violence in our community. The partner agencies include:

  • Alberta Health Services—Addiction and Mental Health (Addictions Programming,
  • Family Violence Services)
  • Alberta Justice—Lethbridge Crown Prosecutor’s Office
  • Lethbridge Family Services—Counseling Services
  • Lethbridge Regional Police Service
  • Native Counseling Services
  • Probation
  • RCMP
  • Southwest Alberta Child and Family Services Authority
  • Victim/Witness Services (Lethbridge Regional Police Service)
  • Victim/Witness Services (RCMP)
  • YWCA Lethbridge and District

Staff from partner agencies meet regularly to case-conference specific files to address issues of risk etc. A similar meeting with similar participants and the prosecutor is held before each session of domestic violence court.

Initiative Key Objectives:

To share information, raise public awareness of the community impacts of domestic violence, address partner-specific concerns, arrange training opportunities, collect and assess domestic violence court data and obtain information on domestic violence crime rates.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Criminal Investigation Division and Domestic Crimes Unit

Key Contact:

Colin Catonio

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • private agencies/corporations
  • other government departments/agencies
  • other: Native Counselling Services of Alberta

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

DVAT is both consultative and cooperative. The committee ensures that partner agencies meet their obligations in following the domestic violence protocols and that victims are provided the best service possible.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

Since 1995.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

The initiative was undertaken in 1995 in response to new 1991 provincial protocols regarding domestic violence investigations and prosecutions and to ensure that support to victims and families is provided by partner agencies.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

There were no material costs to establishing DVAT. Police commitment involved providing a meeting room and support staff to take and maintain minutes of meetings.

A full-time coordinator position was subsequently established, which is funded through yearly provincial grants. The approximate time commitment from the police service for committee work is 16-18 hours per month.

Method of Implementation:

By establishment of the committee.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

DVAT has evolved from a focus primarily on the criminal aspects of domestic violence, to a more holistic approach, where all stakeholders recognize the importance of addressing each facet of domestic violence, regardless of whether it is their agency’s primary role. DVAT has been instrumental in bringing awareness of domestic violence to the community of Lethbridge, for example, through the development of a video with a member of Major Crimes unit to help educate the public on the police role with respect to domestic violence. The video will be posted on the DVAT webiste, along with a video being produced by the Crown Prosector’s Office.

When first established, the agencies came together to ensure that the provincial protocols regarding the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence were followed and that support of the victim and families was provided by partner agencies. Today, the protocols are firmly established and followed. Minor modifications or adjustments are made in process as issues are identified.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

DVAT maintains a website ( DVAT is currently developing a more robust public communications strategy.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • N/A

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:


Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:

Through DVAT, training has been provided to frontline staff.

Record Entry Date:


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