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Women’s rights advocate receives provincial award

A local women’s rights advocate has been recognized for her efforts.

Pamela Cross serves as the legal director of Luke’s Place, a Durham Region-based organization which provides family law services and guidance to abused women and their children.

She has been announced as the recipient of the Guthrie Award.

The Law Foundation of Ontario gives this award to those who provide access to legal services.

“Pamela’s work is changing the way the legal system approaches violence against women,” says Linda Rothstein, board chair of the Law Foundation of Ontario. “From many angles – representing clients, developing pro bono services and public legal education for women, training lawyers and judges, informing policymakers, and spearheading cutting-edge research – Pamela is a critical connector who brings people and sectors together to better understand and respond to the unique and urgent legal needs of women who’ve been abused.”

In her role with Luke’s Place, Cross developed many firsts for the agency, including a pro bono advice clinic and virtual legal clinic.

These clinics provide information for abused women about the family law and court systems, completing court documents and more.

“Pamela is deeply committed to improving access for justice for women who have been subjected to abuse in their relationships. In addition to her professional work, she contributes countless volunteer hours and pro-bono consultations, provides valuable mentoring to young lawyers, and has served on non-profit boards and committees,” states Carol Barkwell, executive director of Luke’s Place.

Cross has been recognized in the past, including the Laura Legge Award from the Law Society of Ontario in 2019, and the YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award in 2006.

The Guthrie Award will be presented to Cross during a reception in October.