B.C. offers increased protection for those at risk of family violence

Government is acting to ensure greater safety and protection regarding family violence

Ministry of Justice

VANCOUVER – Government is acting to ensure greater safety and protection of those experiencing or are at risk of family violence, by using professional process servers for delivery of protection orders at no cost to applicants, in all regions of the province.

This change means more than 1,000 applicants will no longer need to arrange for a friend or family member to serve a protection order or hire a professional process server when a respondent is not present in court to receive the order.

This model strengthens the ability of police to enforce protection orders and of Crown counsel to prosecute breach charges as contracted process servers will ensure the affidavit of service is properly completed, filed in a court registry and made accessible to police services through the Protection Order Registry.

B.C.’s Family Law Act (FLA) introduced protection orders to help courts more effectively deal with family violence situations. The FLA was created to meet the needs of B.C. families and to help them navigate significant changes and decisions in their lives, such as separation and divorce, and the division of property and parenting arrangements for children when couples split up.

Tracy Porteous, executive director Ending Violence Association of B.C. stated, “Protection orders are a critical link to safety for women and families trying to cope with domestic violence. Having an intermediary serve these orders will act as an important protective shield so that women and their families are not put at further risk having to be the serve these orders themselves. This announcement today is both welcome and necessary, bravo.”

The Family Law Act was developed after consultations with more than 500 organizations, community groups, the legal community, other stakeholders and members of the public. The new law replaces the outdated Family Relations Act, which took effect in 1979.

More information about protection orders is available at:  http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=1EC3518EDE724BA4A25DB464574E0049