BC’s Family Law Act provides protection for those who may be in danger of family violence: physical or psychological. Protection orders are made under part 9 of the Family Law Act to help people experiencing family violence. Family violence is not limited to physical violence as protection orders can be granted where a family member places unreasonable restrictions on a family member’s financial or personal autonomy. The legislation defines “Family Violence” as follows:
“family violence” includes
(a)physical abuse of a family member, including forced confinement or deprivation of the necessities of life, but not including the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or others from harm,
(b)sexual abuse of a family member,
(c)attempts to physically or sexually abuse a family member,
(d)psychological or emotional abuse of a family member, including
(i)intimidation, harassment, coercion or threats, including threats respecting other persons, pets or property,
(ii)unreasonable restrictions on, or prevention of, a family member’s financial or personal autonomy,
(iii)stalking or following of the family member, and
(iv)intentional damage to property, and
(e)in the case of a child, direct or indirect exposure to family violence;
If the court is satisfied there is a risk of family violence to at an risk family member they may grant a protection order in either Provincial or Supreme Court. You do not have to have a family claim started before applying to court for a protection order and can apply at any time. Under the Family Law Act, the terms of a protection order can be enforced by the police.
If you need legal advice about a protection order, contact us and start your consultation today.