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Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

The Victims of Domestic Violence Act provides remedies for victims in situations of domestic violence.

A victim is a cohabitant subjected to domestic violence by another cohabitant.

Cohabitants are people who have lived together or are living together in a family, spousal or intimate relationship, or who have children together.

A respondent is a person against whom an order is sought or made.

Domestic violence is one or more of the following:

  • any intentional or reckless act or omission that causes bodily harm or damage to property;
  • any act or threatened act that causes a reasonable fear of bodily harm or damage to property;
  • forced confinement; or
  • sexual abuse.

The Act provides emergency intervention orders, victims' assistance orders, and warrants of entry to assist victims of domestic violence.

Emergency Intervention Order

An Emergency Intervention Order provides for immediate action to protect a victim of domestic violence in an emergency situation. To apply for an order the victim, or a person who is acting on behalf of a victim, should contact the police, Victims Services units of the police, First Nations' community case workers or Mobile Crisis services. These agencies are authorized to make applications for these orders by telephone. Designated Justices of the Peace are available 24 hours a day to hear applications for orders.

The Justice of the Peace will consider the following factors:

  • the nature of the domestic violence;
  • the history of domestic violence by the respondent towards the victim;
  • the existence of immediate danger to persons or property; and
  • the best interests of the victim and any child of the victim or any child who is in the care and custody of the victim.

An Emergency Intervention Order can:

  • give the victim exclusive occupation of the home;
  • restrain a respondent from communicating with or contacting the victim or the victim's family;
  • direct a police officer to remove the respondent from the home;
  • direct a police officer to accompany the victim or the respondent to the home to supervise the removal of personal belongings; and
  • include any other conditions that the Justice of the Peace considers necessary to provide for the immediate protection of the victim.

The Emergency Intervention Order is only available when, by reason of seriousness or urgency, the order should be made without waiting until the court can hear the application.

In the absence of this requirement, the victim may apply for a victims' assistance order.

Victims' Assistance Order

This order is issued by the Court of Queen's Bench. You should contact a lawyer or Legal Aid to help you obtain a Victims' Assistance Order. Some of the orders the judge may make include:

  • all of the conditions that can be included in an Emergency Intervention Order;
  • requiring the respondent to pay the victim compensation for monetary loss suffered as a result of the abuse, including the cost of temporary accommodation or legal expenses;
  • granting the victim temporary possession of personal property, such as a vehicle, children's clothing or identification documents; and
  • restraining the respondent from contacting the victim and the victim's family, employer, employees or co-workers.

Warrant of Entry

A Warrant of Entry may be issued by a Justice of the Peace to a police officer. This warrant can be used when there is concern that a person who is unable to act on his or her own is suffering from domestic violence and the respondent is preventing others from seeing that person. A Warrant of Entry enables police to enter a building to examine a situation and, if necessary, remove the victim for medical attention.

If you are aware of a situation in which a Warrant of Entry may be needed, you should contact the police.

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