It's been nearly a year since a U.K. law to protect potential victims of interpersonal violence got adopted in Saskatchewan.
the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act, or Clare's Law, came into effect on June 29, 2020, with one unfortunate limitation at launch, the non-participation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
s any information available that may be relevant to their risk in a particular relationship. De-identified information is then sent to a risk assessment committee comprised of police, victims' services and the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services (PATHS).
The hope from the beginning was that it would give police the opportunity to speak with residents who might be in danger if they felt it relevant.
Crystal Giesbrecht, the director of research and communications with PATHS, spoke about the process the RCMP took to come on board.
"What took more time with the RCMP were that they had to do some checking into the legislation at the federal level and some amendments to the RCMP regulations. So while they were interested in participating and we know they were part of the discussions from the start, unfortunately, they weren't able to roll it out at the same time as the provincial legislation."
With only municipal police services participating at launch, however, it left many towns out in the cold; those that rely on RCMP detachments for their local policing rather than their own service.
For Giesbrecht, this change takes Clare's Law provincial in a way that she feels is critical for protecting residents at risk.
"Something like this really has the potential to really help a lot of people and to give people at risk information they need related to safety. But this is only useful if you can access it no matter where you live. So really good news that people can get this from their police wherever they live whether it's municipal or RCMP."