MLA Lee introduces bill to increase protection from partner violence

VICTORIA (May 14, 2019) – Michael Lee, BC Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Langara, introduced the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Act, referred to as Clare’s Law, in the legislature today.

“If passed, this bill will allow at-risk individuals to access information about their partner’s potentially abusive or violent past,” says Lee. “This bill will be especially impactful for women. Unfortunately, women in B.C. are four times more likely than men to be victims of intimate partner violence.”

The legislation will allow police officers to disclose any information regarding a partner’s violent history to an at-risk individual. The police officer will not be required to submit any evidence or testify in any judicial proceedings that may happen as a result of the disclosure.

“Access to this type of information will help at-risk individuals remove themselves from dangerous situations,” says Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This bill is part of a larger effort to protect those who may be in danger. We still need more resources to provide essential supports to individuals in potentially dangerous situations throughout B.C.”

Clare’s Law is closely modeled after legislation introduced in Saskatchewan in 2018. The concept originated in the UK after the 2009 death of Clare Wood who was tragically murdered by her partner. Wood was unaware of the man’s violent past.

“This bill will help women to protect themselves from a violent partner,” says North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite. “The goal of this legislation is to increase prevention and reduce the prevalence of partner violence by giving women a preventative strategy.”

 

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