No one should ever face abuse from their intimate partner. But tragically, Alberta’s domestic violence rates are unacceptably high – the third highest in Canada. That’s why the government is introducing this important legislation to help individuals by empowering them with information about potentially dangerous partners.
“We campaigned on a promise to take domestic violence in Alberta seriously. This legislation will be a critical new tool to help those at risk of experiencing domestic violence or facing abuse already by ensuring they have access to information about the violent history of their partners. This is a first step, not the last. We are proud to be keeping our promise to protect vulnerable people in our province.”
“Our government believes it is crucial for people to have access to this kind of information, particularly when lives are at stake. This law will allow people to make the best choices for their safety and be informed about the potential risks of a relationship."
The right to ask
If passed, the Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence (Clare’s Law) Act would implement new measures to empower at-risk individuals which can help prevent domestic violence before it ever takes place.
The proposed bill would help those at risk by giving them new tools to find out if an intimate partner has a violent or abusive past.
“This law will be an important tool in breaking the cycle of domestic violence here in Alberta. It gives people a greater chance of safety from violence by providing access to resources and supports they might not know about.”
“With this law, we’re being given access to information that could have direct impacts on our lives. It’s empowering and gives us the freedom and knowledge to make our own choices about our own safety.”
The right to know
The proposed act would also grant new powers to police so they can take a proactive approach to preventing domestic violence. Police would be able to disclose relevant information about past violent or criminal behaviours to people at risk.
“Safety is paramount. This law could save lives – it could make a world of difference for so many vulnerable people. Those people have a right to know what the risks are.”
- The act was modelled after Clare’s Law in the United Kingdom, named after a young woman killed by an ex-boyfriend with a history of domestic violence.
- From 2008 to 2017, there were 166 deaths in Alberta due to domestic and family violence, according to the Family Violence Death Review Committee.
- Half of all young women and girls who were victims of domestic violence homicide in Canada were murdered by someone with a prior conviction.