Families Minister Rochelle Squires has announced that the provincial government has introduced "Clares Law" (Bill 43) designed to give Manitobans access to their partner's documented history regarding violence and support.
Clare's Law was named after Clare Woods, a British woman who was murdered in 2009 by her partner. Her family then fought for a disclosure protocol to be put in place regarding a partner's history so a potential victim can safely leave a relationship should warning signs appear.
"Manitoba has some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence and family violence in Canada," says Squires. "These types of violence primarily affect women and girls, disproportionately affect those living in rural, remote, and northern communities, Indigenous people, people of colour, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The purpose of Clare’s Law is to provide Manitobans with access to information on whether their partner has a documented history of violence, as well as access to public and community-based supports to promote safety and end the cycle of violence."
The design team is working alongside privacy experts to ensure the approach is respectful to the privacy of the one being inquired about.
"Our province will also be the first jurisdiction in Canada to expand the approach to include not only domestic violence but also family violence and sexual violence within intimate partner relationships," notes Squires. "This means a mom who may be concerned about her safety or is concerned about behaviour from her intimate partner towards her minor children would be eligible to complete an application."
For the full press release from the government of Manitoba, click here.