Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer; a well-known and respected expert on violence against women and the law. She works as a researcher, writer, educator and trainer with women’s equality and violence against women organizations across Canada.
She is the Advocacy Director at Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre in Durham Region, where she leads the organization’s law and policy reform efforts and media work at the provincial and national levels. In March 2023, Pamela was appointed to a two-year term with Ontario’s Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, which reviews all domestic homicide deaths to identify risk factors and propose recommendations for systemic change.
In 2022, Pamela participated in the Inquest into 2015 triple femicide of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam in Renfrew County, Ontario, both as an expert witness in her role as Luke’s Place Legal Director and as an external consultant producing a report for the Inquest on behalf of the community. Following the Inquest, Pamela was commissioned by End Violence Against Women Renfrew County to develop a toolkit about community engagement with inquests, “We Remember”.
Pamela also participated in the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Inquiry as an expert witness on intimate partner violence.
Pamela is an author on the Luke’s Place toolkit, “The law and parenting arrangements after separation” (2021) and “Family Court and Beyond” (2018, 2021). With funding from the federal Department of Justice, she led a team that conducted research into the use of family violence screening tools for family law practitioners. The final report, entitled “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: The importance of family violence screening tools for family law practitioners” (2018), includes a draft screening tool.
As a member of the teaching faculty with the National Judicial Institute, she trained criminal and family court judges on managing domestic violence cases, and, in 2012, she developed violence against women curriculum for law schools in a project with the Law Commission of Ontario.
For the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Pamela co-authored “Muslim and Canadian Family Laws: A Comparative Primer” and was the author of “Violence Against Women: Health and Justice for Canadian Women.” She also delivered workshops on family law to CCMW members.
In her previous role as Luke’s Place Legal Director, Pamela was the lead trainer for Ontario’s Family Court Support Workers, providing both in-person and online training and support for approximately 100 frontline workers who assist abused women in family court. She led the development and delivery of domestic violence awareness training to approximately 2,500 Legal Aid Ontario staff, community clinics and lawyers across the province. She was also Co-Chair of the Violence Against Women Roundtable, which provided guidance to the provincial government on this issue.
Pamela is the 2020 recipient of the Corry Award from Queen’s Law, the 2019 recipient of both the Laura Legge Award from the Law Society of Ontario and the Guthrie Award from the Law Foundation of Ontario, and a 2015 recipient of the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction. In 2006, she was a YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction for her work in the area of law reform.
She is a frequent speaker at provincial, national and international conferences and is a regular commentator on violence against women and the law for print media, radio and television across Canada.