Saskatchewan has just become Canada’s first province to introduce Clare’s Law.
On Monday, the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act was put forth in the Legislature.
The legislation allows police to disclose information to people at risk on a “right to know” basis.
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“We have seen too many cases of interpersonal, domestic and sexual violence in our province,” said Justice Minister Don Morgan. “If we are able to identify risk and inform those at risk, we hope to help protect people in Saskatchewan from violent and abusive behaviour by a partner.”
“Clare’s Law” is named after Clare Wood, a British woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009. Her father has advocated in the past for more disclosure from police in order to protect victims of domestic violence.
Earlier this year, the province released the Domestic Violence Death Review. It examined six different cases of domestic homicides between 2005 and 2014 and made 19 recommendations.
“It’s not the number one thing on my list, but we’re working on some other initiatives, also in cooperation with the government,” said Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS. “We do think that this is good legislation.”
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Some of the initiatives Dusel noted included public awareness and mandatory education in schools in healthy relationships.
The Saskatchewan NDP’s Nicole Sarauer said they’re happy to see the legislation introduced, but there’s still some questions to be answered, especially as it regards to the kind of disclosure is allowed and to whom the information can be disclosed to.
“It’s important that the disclosures can be done in a way that actually meet the goals of this legislation so that information can be provided to people so that they can avoid situations of violence.”
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence out of any Canadian province.