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Manitoba Government Expands Supports for Victims of Family Violence

by ahnationtalk on November 2, 2015983 Views

November 2, 2015

Protection Orders to be Easier to Obtain, $1.5-million in Shelter Upgrades, Better Emergency Devices Available: Ministers

To help victims of family violence access support services when they’re needed, the Manitoba government is introducing new resources and will make it easier for those at risk to obtain protection orders, Attorney General Gord Mackintosh and Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

“Recent events, including the tragic death of a young woman, have shown protective orders aren’t always as accessible as they should be,” said Minister Mackintosh.  “We want to hear from Manitobans who’ve had experience applying for protection orders.  With their help and through consultations with police, justice officials and community groups, we will improve the process and better protect Manitobans who are at risk of family violence.”

“When someone needs help, it is essential they know where to get help as quickly as possible,” said Minister Irvin-Ross.  “Recognizing that each person’s situation and needs are different, we are expanding and strengthening the range of resources throughout the province.”

Until Nov. 27, the Manitoba government will seek feedback through an online questionnaire from individuals who have applied, or helped someone else apply, for a protection order, Minister Mackintosh said.  The feedback will help guide future legislative changes to strengthen the Domestic Violence and Stalking Act, particularly the provisions related to issuing protection orders, the minister added.

The ministers also announced the consultations as part of Domestic Violence Prevention Month, launched at a meeting of the Family Violence Consortium of Manitoba.  The Manitoba government will provide the consortium with $50,000 to design and implement a public awareness campaign over the next year, focused on family violence prevention.

“Often the link to safety and to hope for individuals and families caught in the cycle of violence is the valuable work provided by the 37-member agencies of the Family Violence Consortium of Manitoba,” said Glenda Dean, consortium co-chair.  “We take this responsibility seriously and will continue to work on behalf of those people, who reach out to us when they need it most.”

The ministers noted the Cellphone Emergency Limited Link-up (CELL) program will be enhanced to better serve people at high risk of domestic violence and stalking.  The program will receive 55 new mobile phones this year, which will be made available at no cost to individuals at risk.

Victim safety will be further enhanced with five new two-way devices will allow the user to call for help by pressing a button instead of calling 911.  When activated, the device notifies local police and provides them with information about the individual’s safety risks related to domestic violence, allowing the person to be located as quickly as possible during a potentially dangerous situation.  The devices operate on a secure network to prevent offenders from hacking the system to find their former partner.

A new information-sharing process between the Office of the Chief Veterinarian and victims services has been established, based on the link between animal abuse and domestic violence, the ministers noted.  If an animal protection officer observes any signs of possible domestic violence while investigating an animal abuse complaint, this will be quickly shared with victims’ services so they can reach out to offer support and referrals, where appropriate.

The ministers highlighted several other new resources available in Manitoba including:

  • establishing the new Peace of Mind program at the Salvation Army, which will receive $30,000 to offer support to women who have experienced domestic violence, complementing the organization’s Choose 2 Change program for male offenders;
  • producing an updated domestic violence community resource map for Winnipeg and a new map for Brandon, which will make it easier for individuals and service providers to identify the programs and supports that meet their needs; and
  • creating a new fact sheet for victims about the links between domestic violence and alcohol or drug use.

Minister Irvin-Ross also said the province continues to upgrade emergency shelters with a total investment of $1.5 million.  The work includes:

  • completing upgrades to two shelters with an investment of $300,000 in 2016 to Genesis House in Winkler and Agape House in Steinbach;
  • providing about $200,000 in site upgrades and play-structure replacement for a number of shelters; and
  • providing $1 million to Nova House in Selkirk.

Planning continues on further major upgrades to shelters in Winnipeg, Minister Irvin-Ross said.

To complete the online survey about protection orders, visit  For more information about Manitoba’s victims services programs, including services available specific to domestic violence, visit

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