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PLEIS-NB celebrates the recognition of Dr. Deborah Doherty, recipient of the 29th annual Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award
June 16, 2022



We are so pleased to share that our very own Dr. Deborah Doherty was recently honoured and awarded the 29th Annual Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award. 

The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award was created in 1992 to recognize outstanding contributions toward the prevention and elimination of family violence in Canada. Each year, the selection committee chooses to recognize an individual, group, organization, business, corporation or workplace that has furthered the prevention and elimination of family violence.

Dr. Doherty was selected as recipient of the 2022 Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award for her passion and dedication to the prevention of family violence, which has been felt far and wide throughout the province of New Brunswick. Dr. Doherty has played a major role in implementing various initiatives that address the needs of individuals trying to leave violent homes.

Dr. Doherty is the founding executive director of Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB), and after many years spent with us has recently retired. She leaves a legacy at PLEIS-NB that will last for generations.

 After conducting a study on family violence in rural communities of New Brunswick, Dr. Doherty created initiatives to ensure women had the resources available to them if they attempted to leave a violent situation. Some initiatives led by her include:

EVO, an App which puts women in touch with resources and support networks to help bridge the isolation and fear of engaging in help-seeking behaviour. The App helps by allowing women to connect directly to helpful services and make a personal safety plan.

The Silent Witness Project, which acts as a reminder of women who have lost their lives due to family violence in New Brunswick. The project creates wooden cut-out silhouettes for each murdered woman to remind individuals that they had their voices silenced, and it is our job to continue to advocate for them.

Safe for Pets Too is an initiative that was created as a response to the barriers women face when being apprehensive about leaving a violent home without their pets. The Safe for Pets Too project provides temporary care and housing for animals of women fleeing violent homes.

These projects are just a glimpse of the amazing work Dr. Doherty has contributed to our province, and we are so lucky to have had such a strong advocate build our service into what it is today. Her legacy will live on, as publications she has piloted continue to be available so that individuals seeking assistance in leaving family violence situations have accessible resources because of her.

Some of the many resources offered by PLEIS-NB that Dr. Doherty has worked on  include: Safer Families...Safer Communities, Directory of Services for Victims of Abuse in First Nations Communities, Directory of Services for Victims of Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence: Tips for Staying Safer, Staying Safer...EVO. 

Photo Credit: Rob Blanchard Photography



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