The Domestic Violence Intervention Act creates a system for granting orders to victims of domestic violence in an expedited manner by Justices of the Peace. The Act defines domestic violence as having occurred if any of the following acts or omissions occur (regardless of whether a criminal charge has been laid, dismissed or withdrawn or a conviction has been or could be obtained):
a.) An assault (which is the intentional application of force that causes the victim to fear for his or her safety);
b.) A threatened or actual act or omission that creates a reasonable fear of bodily harm or damage to property;
c.) Forced physical confinement;
d.) Sexual assault, exploitation or molestation or the threat thereof; or
e.) A series of acts that collectively cause the victim to fear for his or her safety including the following: contact and communicating with, observing or recording any person.
Who can be considered a victim?
A victim defined in the Act is a person who is at least 16 years of age and has been subjected to domestic violence by another person who is either cohabitating with the victim in a conjugal relationship, or is a parent with the victim. The Act applies to married spouses, common law partners and same sex partners.
How can I get an emergency protection order?
The Act also permits the Justice of the Peace to make an Emergency Protection Order to ensure the immediate protection of a victim. An Emergency Protection Order can grant temporary relief for victims of domestic violence including temporary care and custody of a child of the victim, exclusive occupation of the residence of the victim, temporary possession of or control over personal property, an Order restraining the respondent from communicating with the victim or any other specified person (for example, a child) and an Order requiring Peace Officers to cease any weapons in the possession of the respondent.
The Domestic Violence Intervention Act does not replace or alter a victim’s ability to pursue civil claims of assault and battery or the Crown’s ability to pursue criminal charges against a perpetrator of domestic violence.
How We Can Help
Our legal team can be involved in drafting emergency protection orders under the Domestic Violence Intervention Act. Connect with a member of our team today to schedule your free half hour consultation. To contact a member of our team call us at 902-469-9500 or 1-866-339-3400 or contact us online to make an appointment.