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New domestic violence legislation coming into effect

News
By
Government of Alberta

At that time, people who feel they are at risk of domestic violence can apply for a disclosure to find out if their intimate partner has a history of domestic violence or related acts. The Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence (Clare’s Law) Act also lets police take a proactive approach to domestic violence prevention, and disclose relevant information to people at risk, and only to those at risk. 

Disclosures can only be made so a person at risk can make an informed choice about their safety. Any information released cannot be shared and must be kept confidential. Disclosures are allowed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act and safeguards are in place to ensure personal information is protected.

Clare’s Law process

The Clare’s Law disclosure protocol outlines the series of steps taken when an application is received.

Under the Right to Ask protocol, any Albertan can apply for disclosure regarding their current or former intimate partner’s potential risk for domestic violence. Additionally, someone can apply on behalf of someone else if they have their consent – or without consent if they are a legal guardian or have legal authority of the person. Under the Right to Know protocol, police can initiate a request if they have reason to suspect a person is at risk of intimate partner violence.

Applications will be available online starting April 1.

The individual whose information is or is not being disclosed will not be informed an application was made about them.

Domestic violence issues can be made more challenging during times of crisis, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, and supports remain available for those in need. The Family Violence Info Line is available 24-7 toll-free and in more than 170 languages, at 310-1818.

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