If you or your children have been a victim of assault, contact your local police or RCMP detachment immediately. The priority in a situation of this nature is to ensure your safety and the safety of your children. Once you are safe, and the police have been contacted, you may want to proceed with applying for a protection order. Several protection orders are available, but which one is appropriate for you will depend on the facts of your situation. Listed below are a few options you may consider.
Emergency Protection Order.
You may apply for and be granted an Emergency Protection Order (“EPO”) if violence or a threat of violence is occurring between family members. You will need to be able to establish with evidence that immediate protection is necessary, and that family violence may resume or continue.
If the EPO is granted by the Courts, it is enforceable by the police. Failing to comply with the Order will result in criminal sanctions against the respondent. The EPO will direct that the respondent shall have no contact either direct or indirect with you or any individuals listed. Such an order will only be granted in the case of family violence.
A Restraining Order may be granted in situations where individuals fear another individual through their actions. If an individual is threatening, harassing, intimidating, damaging property, or other actions which reasonably cause an individual to fear for their safety or property, you may be granted a restraining order. The restraining order may restrain the individual from contacting you directly or indirectly, harassing, following, attending your residence, or attending your place of work. An Application will need to be filed, and the Respondent shall have an opportunity to respond.
Queen’s Bench Protection Order
A Queen’s Bench Protection Order (“QBPO”) is similar to an EPO and is granted when an individual is experiencing family violence. The key difference between the two is that the application for a QBPO must be served on the family member you are applying against, and the situation does not have to be as dire. Violence which would warrant the granting of a QBPO include; violence causing injury or damage to property, threats that cause reasonable fear of injury or intimidation, stalking, harassing, as well as repeated and unwanted contacted. The family violence must be committed by a member of your family which includes ex-spouses.
Many options are available to protect individuals experiencing family violence. The first priority is to ensure you and your children are safe. If you or your children are experiencing family violence, contact the RCMP or local police detachment immediately. Once you are safe, you can contact legal counsel or attend the local courthouse to consider legal options to ensure your continued safety.
Craig is the Student-at-Law at Rowanoak Law Office LLP.