The Saskatchewan government has tabled legislation which will allow police to disclose relevant information to a person in a violent relationship about their partner.
The government says, “The Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol (Clare’s Law) Act will provide the legislative framework for police services to disclose relevant information to people at risk through the “right to know” process and to applicants through the “right to ask” process.”
As Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, Attorney General Don Morgan says the legislation is about protecting people. “If we are able to identify risk and inform those at risk, we hope to help protect people in Saskatchewan from violent and abusive behaviour by a partner,” Morgan said.
Morgan says information can be released two ways, a request from a potential victim or where police become aware of relevant information.
Joanne Dusel, Executive Director of the Provincial Association of Transition Homes of Saskatchewan says the law is a good first step, but will require the pubic to come forward in helping to disclose information.
“If the public isn’t aware of this legislation, and if people aren’t comfortable in coming forward to say to someone that a person they are getting involved with may have a history of intimate partner violence, it’s not going to be that effective,” Dusel explained.
Dusel says she wants schools to teach children from Kindergarten to Grade 12 what a healthy relationship is, as a further measure to protect against domestic violence.
Clare’s Law is named after United Kingdom resident Clare Wood who was murdered by her partner and unaware of his violent past. Wood’s father advocated for the release of this information to protect domestic violence victims.
(PHOTO: Joanne Dusel, Executive Director of the Provincial Association of Transition Homes of Saskatchewan. Credit Dan Jones.)