(13 April 2017)
Assisting Victims of Domestic Violence
Last week, the Saskatchewan Party government introduced and passed legislation to support individuals fleeing interpersonal violence and families of victims of crime.
The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act and The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 were amended to allow a tenant to end a fixed-term rental agreement with 28 days’ notice if they or their family members are being abused by another resident or former resident.
The Act will also provide the ability to establish an electronic registry of protection orders. Such a registry would assist police and other service providers in knowing instantly whether a particular person has been found to be at risk.
The amendments provide a way out for someone living in a violent domestic situation. Rental lease agreements should never factor into an abused individual’s decision to leave, and these amendments remove that from being a potential obstacle. Some other Canadian jurisdictions, including Alberta, already have similar legislation.
The Victims of Crime Act, 1995 was also amended to expand compensation for counselling costs to include parents, siblings, and adult children of adult victims who have died as a result of violent crime.
This will ensure that victims of violent crime and their family members receive the support they need. Through the program, victims are eligible for reimbursement for numerous expenses including medical services, counselling costs, or loss of earnings. This is crucial following a traumatic event. The legislation previously limited compensation for counselling to the spouse or children of an adult victim and the parent or sibling of a child victim.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of domestic violence in Canada, and your government will continue to explore options to help address this serious issue.
Past MLA Reports