The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer – an idealistic young lawyer whose life was cut short by violence on the night of her call to the bar of Ontario on April 11, 1980. In her memory, the Clinic assists approximately 4,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation and language interpretation. We amplify women’s voices, and cultivate their skills and resilience. Together with our donors and volunteers, we are active in changing the conditions that threaten women’s safety, dignity and equality.
On April 11, 1980, Barbra Teena Schlifer was sexually assaulted and murdered in the basement stairwell of her apartment building when she returned home after celebrating her Call to the Bar of Ontario. Her senseless death sent shock waves through Toronto and across the country. Out of this terrible event, a new dream was born. Barbra’s friends (who were to be her law partners), Frances Rappaport and Patricia Ashby, decided to establish a clinic in her honour that would commemorate her life and make the difference that Barbra had hoped she would make as a lawyer.