Alberta’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Alberta is the second province to bring in a law that could help people at risk of domestic violence learn about an intimate partner’s criminal record. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Alberta’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Alberta is the second province to bring in a law that could help people at risk of domestic violence learn about an intimate partner’s criminal record. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Alberta brings in Clare’s Law to allow access to intimate partner’s violent history

The law originated in the U.K. and is named after Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered in 2009 by a partner

Alberta is the second province to bring in a law that could help people at risk of domestic violence learn about their intimate partner’s past.

The legislation, which is informally known as Clare’s Law, is to come into effect Thursday.

“Alberta is currently the fourth highest in Canada for rates of police-reported intimate partner violence,” Social Services Minister Rajan Sawhney said Tuesday. “In fact, Lethbridge has the highest rate in the country.

“Between 2008 and 2019, we lost 204 Albertans to family violence-related deaths. This is unacceptable.”

Sawhney said that’s why the government brought in the Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence (Clare’s Law) Act.

The law originated in the United Kingdom and is named after Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered in 2009 by a partner she didn’t know had a violent criminal history.

A similar law came into force last June in Saskatchewan and one is also in the works in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Alberta, the law will allow people who feel they may be at risk to apply online for information related to a current or former partner’s potential risk for domestic violence.

Police can also choose to warn potential victims if there’s a sense they are in danger.

TsuuT’ina Police Service Chief Keith Blake, who spoke on behalf of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, said it’s an important step.

“One of the most difficult calls a police officer must respond to is that of domestic violence in an intimate-partner relationship,” he said. “Domestic violence can also turn deadly.

“There is a common misconception that a victim of domestic violence can easily leave their violent partner, but sadly the reality is not that simple.”

Victims will also have the ability to ask for additional help.

“There is a support system ready to help them and keep them safe if they need it or want it, regardless of their risk level,” said Justice Minister Kaycee Madu.

Advocates suggest a positive outcome is more probable when social service supports are added into the mix.

“The Clare’s Law application process provides a crucial window of opportunity for violence prevention,” said Andrea Silverstone, executive director of Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society in Calgary.

“The bottom line is if you are worried about it enough to fill out a Clare’s Law application, you can benefit from social service support.”

The Canadian Press

Albertadomestic violence

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

CNC’s Applied Research and Innovation had partnered with the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cariboo Agricultural Research Alliance and Mackin Creek Farm after receiving funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to research a number of solutions potentially extending northern growing seasons. (Photo submitted)
Ways to extend growing season in B.C.’s north explored by College of New Caledonia in Quesnel

Low-cost supplemental LED lighting appears to benefit plant growth

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Binche residents Doug Connors (left) with Ross Duncan and Paul Lewis were thrilled after a mission to rescue a moose stranded on Stuart Lake was successful Friday, April 2. (Photo submitted)
Daring moose rescue on Stuart Lake garners national attention

“I’m just saving an animal,” said Ross Duncan with Paul Lewis and Doug Connors

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read