Manitoba

Manitoba PCs promise greater protection for women against domestic, sexual violence

The Progressive Conservatives, if re-elected as Manitoba's government, promised on Saturday to provide additional supports for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

If re-elected, Tories would implement Clare's Law, extend eligibility for employment leave

Riel PC candidate Rochelle Squires said her party would work with police, women's shelters and privacy experts to develop a protocol that would allow women to access information about their partner’s past history of domestic violence. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)

The Progressive Conservatives, if re-elected as Manitoba's government, promised on Saturday to provide additional supports for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

"Too many women are abused at the hands of their partners. Too many women are killed at the hands of their partners," said Riel PC candidate Rochelle Squires, introducing herself as "a woman, a mother and a survivor of sexual violence."

"Our PC team is the only party that is committed to help end cycles of violence by supporting women as they leave abusive relationships."

She said the party would implement Clare's Law in Manitoba, which would allow women to access information about
their partner's past history of domestic violence.

The law, first enacted in the United Kingdom in 2012, is named after Clare Wood, a UK woman murdered by her boyfriend in 2009. He had concealed a past six-year jail term for holding a woman at knifepoint for 12 hours.

Squires said her party would work with police, women's shelters and privacy experts to develop a protocol for the disclosure of this information to women. The protocol will allow women, their family members and other professionals to request the information but the disclosure would only be provided to the woman.

Squires couldn't say if Clare's Law would require more police resources or any other costs, saying "once we establish the protocol we'll look at the resources."

"We have more work to do to protect women from violence, and a re-elected PC government will do that work," she added.

The Tories also promised to extend eligibility under the Employment Standards Code for leave to all victims of sexual violence, regardless of whether or not they were in a domestic relationship.

The code currently entitles victims of domestic violence to take leave from their job for up to 10 intermittent days, as well as one continuous period of up to 17 weeks.

In the Manitoba NDP's platform, it says it will "work with federal government to build more affordable housing, invest in transitional housing and shelters for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence, and rebalance the appeals system to be more fair to renters."

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