Domestic Violence Changes a Step in the Right Direction, Much More Action Required
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2017
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHANGES A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, MUCH MORE ACTION REQUIRED
Today the provincial government introduced and passed an amendment to The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act and The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to allow a tenant to end a rental agreement with 28 days’ notice if they or their family members are being abused by another resident or former resident.
The provincial government is also amending The Victims of Crime Act, 1995 to expand compensation for counselling costs to include parents, siblings, and adult children of adult victims who have died as a result of violent crime.
“We recognize these amendments, particularly the ability to end leases, add some supports for victims of domestic violence trying to flee their abuser,” said Lori Johb, Secretary-Treasurer of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) and chair of the SFL’s Women’s Committee, “however, much more action is required by the provincial government to protect and support victims of domestic violence, especially as it relates to the workplace,” she added.
Additional changes needed are those that will allow victims of domestic violence to take paid and unpaid leave from work. Such leave could be taken to seek medical attention for the victim or their child, to obtain services from a victim services organization, to obtain counselling, to relocate, and to seek legal or law enforcement assistance. The provincial government must also require accommodation by employers to protect workers if an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury may occur in a workplace.
“Saskatchewan has the highest rates of domestic violence by intimate partners amongst all Canadian provinces,” said Johb, “we encourage the provincial government to move as quickly as possible to introduce critical supports victims of domestic violence need, in addition to their changes announced today,” she added.
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The SFL represents over 100,000 working people across the province in 37 affiliated unions.
For additional information, contact:
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
o: 1 (306) 525-0197
m: 1 (306) 570-1855