MONCTON (GNB) – The Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act was proclaimed today in order to activate new mechanisms that can help victims of intimate partner violence.

“The proclamation today of this stand-alone legislation to support victims of intimate partner violence is an important step in supporting vulnerable New Brunswickers in their time of need,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “The legislation will provide New Brunswick victims of intimate partner violence with access to important tools designed to increase their safety while they seek more permanent solutions.”

Rogers spoke on behalf of Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry.

Under the act, victims can apply for an emergency intervention order to obtain short-term remedies to respond to their circumstances. These remedies include:

  • exclusive occupation of the residence
  • temporary possession of personal property
  • no-contact provisions
  • temporary custody of children
  • seizure of weapons

There are groups designated in the regulations of the act that will assist victims in completing an application for an emergency intervention order. They include:

  • police
  • Victim Services
  • transition house and second-stage housing intervener
  • Domestic Violence Outreach
  • social workers with the Department of Social Development

Applications for such orders may be made by telephone, making them accessible to victims in both rural and urban areas. Under the authority provided by the new legislation, the government has established new roles in the justice system to hear applications for these orders. Known as emergency adjudicative officers, these officials will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Implementation of measures under the act will be supported by an investment of $900,000. 

“New Brunswick has the highest rate of police-reported intimate partner violence victims in Atlantic Canada,” said Rogers. “The creation of the role of the emergency adjudicative officer is a significant piece to ensuring we continue to deliver services that are crucial to those experiencing intimate partner violence.”

The Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act is intended to work parallel to civil and criminal processes. It provides options to victims in addition to those available under the Criminal Code and existing civil legislation such as the Family Services Act or Marital Property Act.

The new legislation was developed over a two-year period and stems from one of several recommendations from the New Brunswick Roundtable on Crime and Public Safety. The government intends to continue working with its partners to enhance personal, economic and social security for women.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing intimate partner violence,” said Rogers. “Our government will continue to work with its partners to help create safe and respectful communities that challenge behaviours that promote violence against women.”

Advancing women’s equality is an area of focus identified in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework. The report identifies five key steps toward achieving that goal: recruiting more women to fill positions of influence, enhancing gender equality, enhancing pay equity, increasing access to services and support for victims of intimate partner violence, and removing barriers to access and opportunities.

More information on the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act is available online.