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HomeNewsOdyssey House thrilled with introduction of Clare's Law

Odyssey House thrilled with introduction of Clare’s Law

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Odyssey House Executive Director Lisa Watson says the establishment of Clare’s Law in Alberta is a very positive step in addressing domestic violence in this province.

Under the legislation in the Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence Act, otherwise known as Clare’s Law, those who think they’re at risk and want to make an informed choice about their safety can apply for disclosure regarding a current or former partner’s history of domestic violence. Police are also eligible to apply if they suspect someone is at risk.

Watson says the importance of opening up information sharing cannot be understated for people who are experiencing domestic violence. She adds ensuring that someone who is activating Clare’s Law has the access to the resources is just as crucial as the law itself.

“This provides an option for individuals who may be at risk, or think they may be experiencing domestic violence to get more information and make a more informed choice for them,” she says. “Shelters have been conducting danger assessments for the last 20 years, and can work with women to understand their risk, and develop safety plans for them and their children.”

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Watson adds going forward she thinks it would be beneficial for communities across the province to continue focusing on preventative methods, in addition to actions on response.

“I know right now between Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters and some of the work done with IMPACT to address domestic and sexual violence through a preventative lens are some of the key things that are going to help to move the needle on domestic violence.”

Clare’s Law was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2014, named after Clare Wood, who was murdered in England by a former domestic partner.

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