FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick today took a step in joining other Canadian provinces in establishing intimate partner violence legislation as Premier Brian Gallant tabled the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act.

“We must do more to end gender-based, domestic, and intimate partner violence,” said Gallant, who is also the minister responsible for women’s equality. “This law will provide more timely access to civil remedies for those who are victims of intimate partner violence.”

The proposed legislation will provide victims of intimate partner violence with additional tools to increase their safety while they seek more permanent solutions. It will allow victims to apply to a designated official for an emergency order, without notice to the respondent, to obtain remedies to respond to their circumstances.

“This intimate partner violence intervention law will help make victims and their children safer,” said Gallant.

These remedies may include things such as:

  • exclusive occupation of the residence;
  • temporary possession of personal property;
  • no-contact provisions;
  • temporary custody of children; and
  • seizure of weapons.

“The legislation stems from one of many recommendations from the New Brunswick’s Roundtable on Crime Prevention and Reduction,” said Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch, who is also a member of the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police. “This is another step to help standardize a response for intimate partner violence, and we are proud to support it.”

“The remedies outlined in the legislation are designed to address many of the barriers that victims face when trying to leave an abusive relationship. For example, allowing easy access to emergency intervention orders by telephone will benefit all victims and their children, but particularly those in rural communities where victims may feel isolated,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “The safety and protection of those most vulnerable is important. Your government will continue to work with its partners to enhance security and safety for New Brunswick women.”

The Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2016: A Focus on Family Violence in Canada states that women are more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner; more likely to experience sexual abuse; and more severe and chronic forms of partner violence, such as threats and force to gain control. The report includes the statement from both the United Nations, in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the World Health Organization that violence against women is a major global health problem and human rights violation that happens because women are women.

More information on intimate partner violence, including resources for victims and where to find help, is available on the Love Shouldn’t Hurt webpage.