Canada: Nova Scotia Women Advocate for Expansion of Scope of Law on Torture
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:10 PM

Two women in Nova Scotia, Canada, Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, are advocating for the expansion of the Criminal Code of Canada to include Non-State Torture (NST). Currently, Canada’s Criminal Code limits the charge of torture to state agents, such as police and military officials. However, Sarson and MacDonald argue that torture is commonly perpetrated in the private sphere, for example by family members, guardians, or other trusted adults. These cases of torture, according to Sarson and MacDonald, are often prosecuted under the category of assault, a lesser charge than that of torture. Many NST cases are connected to issues of violence against women such as domestic violence, rape and human trafficking. Sarson and MacDonald work through a website they created, Persons Against NST, to offer resources and information on NST as well as provide victim support.