Family Violence

Nobody has the right to hurt or threaten another person, even a member of one’s own family. Types of family violence may include:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, etc.
  • Sexual: unwanted sexual activity including touching, fondling and intercourse
  • Emotional or Psychological: use of isolation, threats, coercion and name-calling

What are Some Options for Victims?

If a person is threatened or harmed by a member of their family, there is help available. Options include:

  • Calling the police/pursuing criminal charges
  • Going to a shelter
  • Applying for a peace bond
  • Applying for an emergency protection order
  • Consulting a lawyer

Victims might want to consider doing all of the above; the victim’s safety is of the utmost importance. It might be useful to consider keeping important things together in case it is necessary to leave the home quickly. Some things to consider include:

  • MCP card
  • Insurance information
  • Bank and credit cards
  • Medication
  • Identification
  • Any court papers
  • Money

Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs)

An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a court order that can be granted quickly in the event of family violence. To get an EPO, the applicant needs to:

  • Have lived in a conjugal relationship with the violent person, or
  • Have had a child with the violent person

People who are married, living common law or are part of a same-sex couple can apply for an EPO

An EPO can allow police to remove an alleged abuser from the home, take away any firearms or other weapons, give you temporary custody of the home and children, and other conditions that the court deems appropriate

EPOs can be applied for in the following ways:

  • By police, 24 hours a day
  • By an individual, during regular court hours
  • By a lawyer on an individual’s behalf, during regular court hours

Application forms are available from Provincial Court.

Normally, the judge will decide whether an EPO will be granted within 24 hours of receiving the application

An EPO will not last for more than 90 days, and is not a criminal charge

HRLE program for Victims of Violence

The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment offers support to victims of violence in Newfoundland and Labrador.

HRLE provides support for victims of violence in the form of:

  • Transportation to a shelter or other safe place
  • Accommodations
  • Personal allowance for the period of time spent in a shelter (based on your financial circumstances and delivered by the Department of Health and Community Services).

HRLE provides support for victims of violence who are in receipt of Income Support in the form of:

  • Continuation of income support based on circumstances
  • Transportation may be provided:
    • To move from one shelter to another
    • To move household furniture
    • To supportive counselling
    • Outside the province for safety reasons
  • Start-up allowance to obtain furniture, clothing, etc. if it is deemed unsafe to return home to gather these items
  • Services of the regional liaison social worker
  • If you would like additional information about these programs, or would like to speak to an HRLE representative, call 1-877-729-7888 (any time of day or night)

Family Violence Contacts

Police

RNC

  • 729-8333 St. John’s
  • 437-6782 Torbay
  • 637-4100 Corner Brook
  • 944-7602 Labrador City
  • 925-3524 Churchill Falls

RCMP

  • 1-800-709-7267 for province wide emergencies

Shelters

  • Iris Kirby House (St. John’s) – 753-1492
  • Naomi Centre (St. John’s) – 579-8432
  • Grace Sparks House (Marystown) -1-877-774-4957
  • Cara Transition House (Gander) - 1-877-800-2272
  • Corner Brook Transition House - 634-4198
  • Libra House (Happy Valley – Goose Bay) – 896-3014
  • Hope Haven (Labrador City) – 944-6900
  • Nain Safe House – 922-1230
  • Sheshatshiu Nukum Munik Shelter – 497-8869
  • Natuashish Safe House – 478-2390

Help Lines

  • Parent Help Line – 1-888-603-9100
  • Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
  • Mental Health Services Crisis Line – 1-888-737-4668
  • Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre – 1-800-726-2743

Miscellaneous

  • Seniors Resource Centre – 1-800-563-5599
  • Victim Services – 729-7970 (provincial office)
  • Public Legal Information Association of NL – 1-888-660-7788
  • Labrador Aboriginal Legal Services – 896-2919
  • Office of the Child and Youth Advocate – 1-877-753-3388

Publications and Resources

The Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador has prepared a publication entitled Information for Victims of Family Violence PDF (143 KB) which may be of assistance to persons who are dealing with family violence.