October 5th, 2020
NDP introduces bill to protect more Canadians from abuse
OTTAWA – Today, Randall Garrison, NDP Critic for Justice introduced legislation that would help address domestic violence in Canada by making controlling or coercive conduct in an intimate relationship a criminal offence.
Similar provisions have been added to the criminal code in the United Kingdom and in June, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime called on the Minister of Justice for legislation that makes this change.
“Creating this new offence will help stop serious harm already being inflicted on intimate partners, and it will also allow police to take action before things escalate,” said Garrison. “Right now, Police regularly have to wait until physical violence takes place before they can intervene. This bill would help Canadians living in unsafe situations to get help earlier instead of living in fear of an abusive partner.”
Bill C-247 recognizes the serious harm caused by controlling or coercive conduct in an intimate relationship, including psychological damage resulting from the fear of violence, damage to mental and/or physical health, and damage resulting from limitations on an intimate partner’s ability to carry on an independent and autonomous life.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the fact that not every home is a safe home,” said Lindsay Matthyssen, NDP critic for Women and Gender Equality. “People living in fear of violence should not have to experience violence before receiving help and protection. The government has a responsibility to do all it can to keep women and girls safe.”