If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in Alberta, it is important to understand the laws and resources available to protect yourself and your loved ones. Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many individuals and families in the province. It can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse.
Fortunately, Alberta has laws in place to help victims of domestic violence. The Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence (Clare’s Law) Act, for example, allows individuals who feel at risk of domestic violence to request information about their partners’ criminal history. This can help victims make informed decisions about their safety and take steps to protect themselves. Additionally, Alberta’s Family Violence Protection Act provides legal protections for victims of domestic violence, including emergency protection orders and restraining orders.
At Kurie Moore Law Group, we understand the complex legal issues surrounding domestic violence in Alberta. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence navigate the legal system and obtain the protections they need to stay safe. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.
Overview of Domestic Violence Laws in Alberta
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in Alberta, it is important to know that there are laws in place to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Domestic violence is defined as any form of abuse or violence that occurs between people who are in a close relationship, such as spouses, partners, or family members.
In Alberta, there are a number of laws and policies that address domestic violence. These include:
- The Protection Against Family Violence Act (PAFVA): This law provides victims of domestic violence with a range of legal protections, including emergency protection orders, restraining orders, and exclusive possession of the family home. It also allows police officers to remove perpetrators from the home and lays out penalties for violating protection orders.
- The Criminal Code of Canada: This federal law includes a number of criminal offences related to domestic violence, such as assault, sexual assault, and uttering threats. These offences carry serious penalties, including imprisonment.
- Clare’s Law: This law allows individuals who feel at risk of domestic violence to request information about their partner’s criminal history. This information can help individuals make informed decisions about their safety and take steps to protect themselves.
- The Victims of Crime Act: This law provides financial compensation to victims of crime, including victims of domestic violence, to help cover expenses related to medical treatment, counselling, and lost wages.
In addition to these laws, there are also a number of resources available to victims of domestic violence in Alberta. These include:
- Emergency shelters: There are a number of emergency shelters throughout Alberta that provide safe and secure accommodations for victims of domestic violence.
- Counselling and support services: There are a variety of counselling and support services available to victims of domestic violence, including individual counselling, group counselling, and support groups.
- Legal assistance: Victims of domestic violence can access legal assistance through a variety of sources, including Legal Aid Alberta and private law firms like Kurie Moore Law Group.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in Alberta, it is important to reach out for help. There are resources available to support you and help you stay safe.
The Family Law Act
The Family Law Act is a provincial law that governs family relationships in Alberta. It applies to non-divorce situations, such as determining who are the parents of a child, including cases where the child was conceived through assisted reproduction, and determining who are the guardians of a child.
The Act also covers contact between a non-parent or non-guardian and a child, and child and spousal/adult interdependent partner support obligations for former spouses/parents who were never married or are not seeking a divorce.
Under the Family Law Act, domestic violence is considered a serious matter. The Act defines “family violence” as any behaviour by a family or household member causing or attempting to cause physical harm to the child or another family or household member, including forced confinement or sexual abuse, or causing the child or another family or household member to reasonably fear for his or her safety or that of another person.
If you are experiencing family violence, the Family Law Act provides several options for protection. You may apply for an Emergency Protection Order, which is a court order that provides immediate protection from family violence. You can also apply for a Protection Order, which is a court order that provides longer-term protection from family violence.
In addition, the Family Law Act allows for the appointment of a guardian ad litem, who is a person appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in a legal proceeding. The guardian ad litem may be appointed if there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the child.
Overall, the Family Law Act is an important tool for protecting individuals and families from domestic violence in Alberta. If you are experiencing family violence, it is important to seek help and know your legal rights.
The Protection Against Family Violence Act
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence in Alberta, The Protection Against Family Violence Act provides a legal framework to help protect victims and prevent further violence. This act provides the authority for the court to grant a protection order where it has determined that violence has occurred and is likely to continue.
The Protection Against Family Violence Act recognizes the family as the basic unit of society and is committed to the prevention of family violence. The act also establishes the Family Violence Death Review Committee, which reviews incidents of family violence resulting in deaths and provides advice and recommendations to help prevent future incidents.
Under this act, family violence is defined as any of the following acts committed by a family member against another family member:
- Physical abuse or threatened physical abuse
- Sexual abuse or threatened sexual abuse
- Psychological or emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Harassment or stalking
- Damage to property
If you are experiencing family violence, you can apply for a protection order under this act. A protection order is a legal document that prohibits the abuser from having any contact with you or your children and can also require the abuser to leave the family home.
It is important to note that if you are in immediate danger, you should call 911 or your local police department. They can provide emergency assistance and help ensure your safety.
Overall, The Protection Against Family Violence Act is an important piece of legislation in Alberta that helps protect victims of family violence and prevent future incidents. If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, it is important to seek help and support.
Emergency Protection Orders
If you are experiencing family violence, you may want to consider applying for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). An EPO is a legal tool intended to protect Albertans experiencing family violence. It is granted when violent or threatening behavior occurs between family members.
You can get an EPO 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A Provincial Court judge or justice of the peace can grant an EPO in person or over the phone. The process to apply is different in each city or town. In Edmonton, you can contact Legal Aid Alberta’s Emergency Protection Order Program during business hours (by phone or in person).
To apply for an EPO, you will need to provide information about the family violence that has occurred or is likely to occur. You will need to provide your name, address, and contact information. You may also need to provide information about the person who has been violent or threatening towards you.
Once an EPO is granted, it is important to understand that it is a legal order. This means that if the person who has been violent or threatening towards you does not follow the order, they can be charged with a criminal offense.
If the person who has been violent or threatening towards you violates the EPO, you should contact the police immediately. The police can arrest the person and charge them with a criminal offense.
It is important to remember that an EPO is only one tool to help protect you from family violence. There are other legal options that may be available to you, such as a Queen’s Bench Protection Order (QBPO). A QBPO is a court order that helps protect Albertans from family members committing family violence. It can order the person causing harm to do things such as stay away from you, stop contacting you, move out of the family home, or allow you to use certain property. QBPOs are described in Alberta’s Protection Against Family Violence Act.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, you may be eligible for a restraining order. A restraining order is a legal document that prohibits an abusive partner or family member from contacting or being near you. In Alberta, there are two types of restraining orders: Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs) and Queen’s Bench Protection Orders (QBPOs).
To obtain an EPO, you can contact Legal Aid Alberta’s Emergency Protection Order Program 24/7. A judge or justice of the peace can grant an EPO in person or over the phone. The process to apply is different in each city or town, so it’s important to contact Legal Aid Alberta for guidance.
To obtain a QBPO, you must go to court and apply in person. You will need to provide evidence of the abuse and explain why you need the order. If the judge grants the order, the abusive partner or family member will be prohibited from contacting or being near you for a specified period of time.
If the abusive partner or family member violates the terms of the restraining order, you should contact the police immediately. The police can arrest the person and charge them with a criminal offense. If the person is found guilty, they may face fines, imprisonment, or other penalties.
It’s important to note that a restraining order is not a guarantee of safety. If you feel that you are in danger, you should take steps to protect yourself, such as staying with a friend or family member, changing your phone number, or contacting a domestic violence shelter.
If you need help obtaining a restraining order or have questions about your legal rights, you should contact a qualified family law attorney. The Kurie Moore Law Group is a law firm in Sherwood Park that specializes in family law and can provide you with the guidance and support you need.
Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program
If you are a victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program in Alberta. This program is designed to help victims of crime, their immediate family members, and witnesses who have suffered physical or emotional harm as a result of a violent crime.
The program provides financial assistance to help with urgent needs, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income. The amount of financial assistance provided depends on the severity of the harm suffered and the financial need of the victim. The maximum amount of financial assistance available is $110,000.
Support Services for Victims
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in Alberta, there are a number of support services available to help. These services can provide information, support, and resources to help victims of domestic violence stay safe and get the help they need.
Family Violence Info Line
The Family Violence Info Line is available 24/7 and can provide information and support to victims of domestic violence. You can call the toll-free number at 310-1818 or text 310-1818 to get help. The Info Line can provide information about shelters, financial assistance, legal services, and other resources that are available to victims of domestic violence.
There are a number of shelters across Alberta that provide safe housing and support services to victims of domestic violence. These shelters can provide a safe place to stay, as well as counseling, support groups, and other services to help victims heal from the trauma of domestic violence. Some shelters also offer services for children who have been impacted by domestic violence.
Counseling services are available to victims of domestic violence and can provide emotional support, as well as help victims develop coping skills and strategies for staying safe. Counseling services can be provided by trained professionals, such as psychologists or social workers, and can be offered in individual or group settings.
Victims of domestic violence may need legal assistance to obtain restraining orders, file for divorce or custody, or navigate other legal issues related to domestic violence. Legal services are available to victims of domestic violence and can provide advice and representation in legal matters.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of support services available to help victims of domestic violence stay safe and get the help they need.
At Kurie Moore Law Group, we believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from fear and violence. Domestic violence is a deeply concerning issue, and we are committed to helping those who have been affected by it in Alberta.
Our legal team is here to provide support, guidance, and legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence. We understand the complexities of these situations and the courage it takes to seek help. You are not alone in this journey, and we are here to help you navigate the legal process, obtain protective orders if needed, and ensure your safety and well-being.