Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Saskatchewan is one step closer to becoming the first province to implement “Clare’s Law” that will provide better protection against intimate-partner violence.
The Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol (Clare’s Law) Act, received third reading in the legislature and will come into force after the disclosure protocol and regulations have been established.
Through the creation of a framework and standard process that will uphold two rights – the right to ask and the right to know, the Act will allow police to release information about someone’s violent past to intimate partners who safety may be at risk.
Justice Minister and Atty. Gen. Don Morgan said on May 2, 2019 that the provincial government will collaborate over the summer with law enforcement and the shelter community to develop the protocol and regulations. “We are working hard to get this legislation in place to help people who may be at risk in an intimate relationship,” Morgan says.
According to Chief Marlo Pritchard, president of Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police in Moose Jaw, the province has one of the highest rates of domestic assaults in Canada. “Clare’s Law” is designed as a tool for individuals who think they may be at risk of interpersonal violence to get knowledge that will allow them to make those necessary decisions to increase their safety,” Pritchard says.
Part of the standard process will involve the multi-sector review committee to provide recommendations on potential disclosures. The police service will retain the ultimate discretion with regards to when to disclose information.
Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood, 36, who was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Clare’s Law gives women for the first time the right to know if a partner has a history of domestic violence and is being rolled out to police forces across England and Wales following a successful pilot scheme.
I have always felt that the province of Saskatchewan is a provincial leader in health and safety. Here is another first for the province and I do hope the other nine, as well as the territories, follow suit since it is long overdue. It is great to see that there are many forward thinkers in Saskatchewan, that see the immediate need, and have the intestinal fortitude to make this a reality in Canada.
Good for you Saskatchewan!
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