Justice and Public Safety
March 15, 2018

Government Expands Definition of Family Violence in Act

The Provincial Government is introducing amendments to the Family Violence Protection Act to better support adult victims of domestic violence and their children. The amendments will expand the definition of family violence to include emotional, psychological and financial harm.

The current definition of family violence includes acts or threats of physical violence, sexual violence, damage to property, or deprivation of the necessities of life. This definition of violence does not always capture patterns of violent behavior that cause harm.

Expansion of the definition to include psychological or emotional abuse within the family will capture situations where family violence involves using words or actions to control, isolate, intimidate or dehumanize someone as well as situations related to financial abuse within the family.

These changes will ensure that the act reflects the reality of the experience of family violence and that the legal system has the tools to deal with it effectively. By broadening the definition of family violence, it will be easier for victims to seek an Emergency Protection Order to protect them and their children.

The Family Violence Protection Act is designed to complement protections in the Criminal Code and offers further protection to victims of family violence.

“Violence is about more than just physical harm. As a community we need to work together to take action to end violence in all forms and break down the barriers victims face when encountering the justice system. I believe these amendments will help keep families safer.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General

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Learn more
For information on Victim Services visit - www.justice.gov.nl.ca/just/victim_services/victim_services_program.html

For information on Legal Aid services visit - legalaid.nl.ca

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Media contact
Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910

2018 03 15                             12:15 p.m.