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family violence

Hot off the press – For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders

forYourProtectionBack in stock: our popular booklet, For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders, is again available from Crown Publications. We’ve reprinted both the English and the Punjabi versions with minor improvements: we’ve added information about the court forms needed for a protection order and also that Supreme Court fees can sometimes be waived. For Your Protection explains how and when people can apply for peace bonds and family law protection orders, and what the differences are between them. The booklet is also available in Chinese (simplified and traditional) and French (online only).

Hot off the press: Relationship abuse fact sheets now available in print in Farsi (Persian)

Live Safe - End Abuse

liveSafeEndAbuseSeven fact sheets in the Live Safe — End Abuse series are now available in print in Farsi (Persian). The fact sheets cover 11 topics to inform readers about relationship abuse (family violence). We identified seven topics that would be most helpful to someone dealing with family violence. These seven fact sheets are also available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Punjabi, and Spanish.

  • Getting Help from the Police or RCMP explains the right to call police in abusive situations, how police can help, and what happens when police arrest an abuser.
  • If Your Sponsor Abuses You describes what newcomers (immigrants) to Canada can do if abused by their sponsors or when leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Parenting explains what the terms guardian, parenting time, parental responsibilities, and contact with a child mean under the BC Family Law Act, and describes parenting orders and limits on parenting.
  • Protection Orders explains peace bonds, no contact orders, and family law protection orders, and how to apply for them.
  • Safety Planning gives details about how to make a safety plan for use at home, outside the home, and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • The Criminal Court Process describes what happens when an abuser faces criminal charges, what it means to be a court witness, what happens at trial, and possible sentences.
  • What Is Abuse? explains that abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, or sexual, and that certain types of abuse are crimes.

All the fact sheets list community support services and legal resources. See Abuse & family violence for all the fact sheets in this series.

All fact sheets in this series are folded for display in brochure racks.

Hot off the press: Relationship abuse fact sheets now available in print in more languages

Seven fact sheets in the Live Safe — End Abuse series are now available in print in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Punjabi, and Spanish. The series is designed to inform and educate readers about relationship abuse (family violence), and covers 11 topics.

We identified seven topics that would be of most help to someone who’s dealing with family violence.

  • Getting Help from the Police or RCMP explains the right to call police in abusive situations, how police can help, and what happens when police arrest an abuser.
  • If Your Sponsor Abuses You describes what newcomers (immigrants) to Canada can do if abused by their sponsors or when leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Parenting explains what the terms guardian, parenting time, parental responsibilities, and contact with a child mean under the BC Family Law Act, and describes parenting orders and limits on parenting.
  • Protection Orders explains peace bonds, no contact orders, and family law protection orders, and how to apply for them.
  • Safety Planning gives details about how to make a safety plan for use at home, outside the home, and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • The Criminal Court Processdescribes what happens when an abuser faces criminal charges, what it means to be a trial witness, what happens at trial, and possible sentences.
  • What Is Abuse? explains that abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, or sexual, and that certain types of abuse are crimes.

All the fact sheets list community support services and legal resources for more help (phone numbers, websites, and publications). See Abuse & family violence for a complete list of all the fact sheets in this series.

All fact sheets in this series are folded for display in brochure racks.

Is Your Client Safe wins a 2013 Communicators Award

Is Your Client SafeWe’re proud to announce that Is Your Client Safe has won a Communicators Award of Distinction! The Communicator Awards are one of the largest international awards to cover excellence in communications.

Is Your Client Safe helps lawyers and advocates spot the signs of abuse in their clients. It also explains what to do if your client has been victimized, and includes safety planning information, links to resources, and where to get help. Accompanying the brochure is a series of online-only fact sheets covering the following topics:

  • Encouraging disclosure
  • Relationship violence client resources
  • Relationship violence legal resources
  • Safety planning for you and your staff
  • Safety planning for your client

Is Your Client Safe is the product of a lot of collaboration within the public legal education sector in BC: it was co-published with the Ending Violence Association of BC, adapted in part from Jocelyn Coupal’s work, funded by a grant from the Ministry of Justice (through civil forfeiture proceeds), and improved with input and feedback from many people in the community.

Congratulations to everyone involved for the well-deserved win!

Court harassment, family violence, and the Family Law Act

upset couple

Family law cases can be very contentious. There is a lot of emotion involved in these cases and, unfortunately, some people find it hard to see the forest for the trees when they’re involved in a case that involves their children or a former partner.

Sometimes this can lead to court harassment. Court harassment is when one person uses the legal system to harass the other party. This could, for example, be someone filing multiple unnecessary court applications as a way to waste their ex’s time and money. A case like this made its way through BC’s Supreme Court recently, and the ruling has important implications for family law cases in BC.

The case, M.W.B. v. A.R.B, looks at a couple who continued to go to court even after their divorce. Over the two and a half years since their divorce, the wife had delayed the sale of joint property (leading to a loss in value), hindered the father’s access to his children, and was the cause of four additional court hearings. The main point of contention in this case, however, was the father’s application to have one of the two children relocate across the province to live with him.

The interesting bit comes in here though; while the case had previously been started under the Family Relations Act, by the time it was heard, the Family Law Act applied. The new act mandates that the best interests of the child is the only factor that can be taken into account in parenting matters. One of the factors in determining the child’s best interests is the presence of family violence.

Family violence has a broader definition than just physical abuse. For this case, the judge homed in on the part of the definition that outlines emotional and psychological abuse; this includes harassment, restriction on a family member’s financial autonomy, intentional damage to property, and more. The judge ruled that the wife’s actions constituted harassment and was a form of family abuse — her actions caused financial and health issues for the husband, which indirectly affected the children’s best interests. The husband won the case.

What this means is that the court now has three ways of dealing with court harassment:

  1. The court can make an order to stop someone from taking further steps in a case if they are found to be misusing the court process.
  2. The court can strike an application or adjourn a proceeding until an order is complied with.
  3. As in this case, the court could determine that one party’s actions constitute family violence and take that into account to determine the child’s best interests or make a protection order.

For a full rundown of the judgment, you can read JP Boyd’s excellent post.

Hot off the press: For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders

forYourProtection

Our newly revised publication For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders is now available in Punjabi and Chinese (simplified and traditional), in addition to French and English. This booklet explains how and when people can apply for peace bonds and family law protection orders, and what the differences are between them.

Currently, the booklet is only available online. Print copies of the English, Punjabi, and Chinese (traditional and simplified) will be available in the near future.

We want your feedback on Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse

Surviving-Relationship-Violence-and-Abuse-348-lssWe’re giving away a Kobo eReader Touch. All you need to do is fill out our survey and enter your contact information for a chance to win!

We want your feedback on a new draft of our booklet Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse. The new draft has been updated to follow the new Family Law Act and edited for plain language. All you need to do to get a chance to win is take a look at the new draft and then fill out our quick survey.

Over the next few months, we’ll put up a few more surveys on our family law publications and each time you fill one out, we’ll enter your name in the draw — only once per publication though. In late March, we’ll hold the draw and let you know if you’ve won!

The deadline for this survey is Friday, January 25, 2013.

You can always email any questions or comments you have about LSS publications to publications@lss.bc.ca.

Hot off the press: Our series on the new Family Law Act is now in booklet form!

As soon as the new BC Family Law Act was announced last year, there were questions. What’s new in the act? When does it come into effect? If I’m in the middle of applying for a court order, does it change anything? We were asking these questions, and so were many of you.

That’s why, beginning last February, with JP Boyd’s help, we began running a series of ELAN entries about the new law. After 8 months and 17 different entries, we’ve finally wrapped up the series.

For your convenience, we’ve combined all the entries into a single booklet, the Guide to the New BC Family Law Act. The booklet is now available for download as a pdf and will be available in print from Crown Publications by the end of this month.

In the coming months, we’ll be following up with more information and training on the Family Law Act. Stay tuned!

Is Your Client Safe? Behind the scenes

Earlier this year, we released a new brochure, Is Your Client Safe? A Lawyer’s Guide to Relationship Violence. How did we decide on this topic and what information to include? In this 3.3-minute video, Alex, our publications development coordinator, gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into planning and producing one of our publications.

Is Your Client Safe? was created in association with the Ending Violence Association of BC with funding from the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (now the Ministry of Justice).

Hot off the press: Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse now available in French

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse is now available online only in French.

This booklet outlines what abuse is from a legal perspective and what a woman’s legal rights are if she is in an abusive relationship. It also explains what women can do to protect themselves and their children, and who can help. This French version includes a chapter about violence against Aboriginal women in relationships and lists resources available to them. The booklet is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese, English, Punjabi, and Spanish.