EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org
The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act
The National Center for Victims of Crime
International Online Resources on Stalking
The strongest civil remedies in Canada would be available to Manitoba victims of domestic violence and stalking under proposed legislation introduced by Justice Minister Vic Toews early this month.
"This legislation emphasizes that no one has the right to intimidate or harass an individual and make them feel afraid and unsafe in their own home or community," said Toews. "We are sending a message that Manitoba will apply the full force of the law to provide easily accessible civil remedies for those people dealing with stalkers or domestic violence."
The proposals provide quick, simple and inexpensive access to protection orders and allow for: - broader prevention orders and compensation from the abuser or stalker for victims' monetary losses caused by domestic violence or stalking; - the suspension and seizure of driver's licences; -the seizure of equipment used in stalking or domestic violence, and; - victims to have the right to sue for damages resulting from stalking.
The minister noted that Manitoba played a key role in the development of federal criminal harassment laws dealing with stalking.
The province has subsequently lobbied for amendments to improve this legislation. These proposals are designed to provide extensive new civil remedies for stalking and domestic violence through laws within provincial jurisdiction.
Under the proposed act, victims could seek protection orders from a justice of the peace 24 hours a day. Orders could also be obtained over the phone with the assistance of police or a lawyer. These orders would be granted without notice to the respondent. Protection orders provide far more protection than the current non- molestation orders. They prohibit a respondent from communicating with a victim, following that person or going to their place of business or residence. The respondent may also be ordered to turn over all weapons and the police may be authorized to search for weapons.
The legislation also provides for prevention orders which offer more options than protection orders. Through a prevention order, the Court of Queens Bench could order the respondent to pay compensation to the stalking or domestic violence victim to cover expenses such as loss of income, counselling, security measures, moving costs and new accommodations. The court could also:
If a motor vehicle is used to further domestic violence or stalking, the respondent could also have his or her driver's licence suspended and be disqualified from operating a motor vehicle.
The respondent would have 20 days after being served with an order to challenge it before the Court of Queens Bench. He or she would be able to give evidence.
"These measures ensure that protection and prevention orders clearly set out what behaviour is prohibited. The range of orders is more flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs of individuals who are dealing with fear of domestic violence or stalking," said the minister.
The legislation also defines domestic violence and stalking to ensure the law captures a wide range of behaviour that may threaten or harm an individual.
Domestic violence includes actual and threatened acts of harm, sexual abuse and, in some instances, psychological or emotional abuse by a family member with whom the victim lives or has a child. Stalking includes harassing conduct that causes fear for the victim's safety.