The serious nature of intimate partner violence and the harm to women and their children has been acknowledged in numerous documents (Statistics Canada, 2005; Tutty & Goard, 2002). The costs to society for charging abusive partners and providing treatment in the hope of stopping domestic violence are substantial (Bowlus, McKenna, Day & Wright, 2003; Greaves, Hankivsky, & Kingston-Reichers, 1995; Healey, Smith, & O'Sullivan, 1998). The criminal justice system is an institution that deals with a high number of cases of domestic assaults yearly. While there is no separate domestic violence offence, abusers are subject to a variety of charges, from common assault to uttering threats to murder, that would apply to anyone regardless of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Nevertheless, the dynamics and the intimate relationship between the accused and the victims in domestic violence cases, has severely challenged the criminal justice response that typically deals with crimes committed by strangers. Beginning with the development of the court in Winnipeg in 1991, specialized domestic violence courts have become increasingly available across Canada with the goal of more effectively addressing the criminal justice response to domestic violence.