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June 10, 2014
For immediate release

Government renews mandate for Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention

Community Services and Seniors

The Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention is a widely respected model for government and community collaboration on family violence prevention, says Valerie E. Docherty, Minister of Community Services and Seniors.

“I am pleased to announce that Executive Council has renewed a five-year mandate for the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention,” said Minister Docherty. “By renewing this mandate, government is empowering the committee to continue the long-standing, high-level, nationally recognized model of collaborative work.”

“Family violence is an abuse of power and control in relationships of family, trust and dependency, and the sorrow and pain that results from family violence must be addressed by the entire Island community,” said Premier Robert Ghiz. “Working collaboratively through this committee, government and community together are able to address family violence issues that impact all Islanders.”

The Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention was first established in 1995 by Premier Catherine Callbeck. The Minister also recognized the five-year term of the committee whose mandate has just ended, which included the following contributions:

• engaging communities and schools Island-wide in Family Violence Prevention Week including youth engagement in the storyboard contest to demonstrate healthy alternatives to violence;

• coordinating a series of trans-disciplinary Think Tanks on supports for parents, resulting in the recently announced funding for implementation of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program;

• introducing an enhanced model of care for patients who go into Emergency Departments for treatment following a sexual assault;

• providing a number of advanced training opportunities for professionals working to prevent family violence;

• expanding the resources available on the PAC website,, for female and male victims of family violence, for neighbours, friends and family members, and for faith communities.


Membership of the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention consists of both community and government representation to ensure collective responsibility and representation. Members are appointed to serve five-year terms to carry out the mandate of the Committee and implement the strategy. Members for the 2014-2019 term are as follows:

Chair – Member at Large – Dr. Philip Smith (interim chair)

Resource Person, Community Services and Seniors (CSS) – Dr. Wendy Verhoek-Oftedahl

Director of Child and Family Services, CSS – Rona Smith, Ex-officio

Administrative Assistant, CSS – To be confirmed by CSS

PEI Teachers’ Federation – Carrie St. Jean

PEI Nurses Association – Audrey Fraser

PEI Aboriginal Women’s Association – Judy Clark

PEI Medical Society – Dr. Christine MacNearney

PEI Seniors Secretariat – Catherine Freeze

PEI Chiefs of Police Association – Chief Lewie Sutherland

Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Sergeant Leanne Butler

PEI Family Violence Prevention Services – Phil Matusiewicz

PEI Rape & Sexual Assault Centre – Sigrid Rolfe

Community Legal Information Association – Kelly Robinson

Actions Femmes Î.-P.-É. – Karine Gallant

PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women – Jane Ledwell

Faith Representative – Rev. Dr. Andrew Richardson, Trinity United Church, Summerside

East Prince Women’s Information Centre – Andy Lou Somers

Women’s Institute – Farida Chishti

Catholic Family Services Bureau – Peter Mutch

Federation of PEI Municipalities – Stephen Gould

PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada – Melissa Coffin

Department of Environment, Labour and Justice: 

• Victim Services – Susan Maynard

• Crown Attorneys Office – David O’Brien, Q.C.

• Turning Point – Jo-Anne Hargrove

Department of Health and Wellness – Jody MacLennan

Department of Community Services and Seniors – Joyce Robertson

Interministerial Women’s Secretariat – Michelle Harris-Genge

Education and Early Childhood Development:

• Education – Sterling Carruthers

• Early Childhood Development/Children’s Secretariat – To be confirmed by EECD

Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning:

• Office of Immigration, Settlement & Population – Jane Mallard

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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