author: jacob nelson | staff writer
So, Saskatchewan finally did something before everyone else! And it doesn’t have to do with agriculture or oil either. Nope, it has to do with civil rights – crazy, right? What I’m talking about is being referred to as Clare’s Law, or the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act” What this law does is inform people if they are in a relationship with someone who has a history of violence. My question is, why wasn’t this already a law?
One thing I find cool and interesting about this is that anyone can request these records, whether it’s a family member or friend, but only the actual person in the relationship will be shown the past record of the person they are with. So, while some may state this opens a door to privacy issues, it doesn’t, really. It’s only providing what the court deems as “necessary” information to the partner, and the partner only.
So, how can anyone fight this law? Some are saying that it should be up to the person to disclose their past and that it’s their past, so it’s their decision. Umm, no. Sorry, hun. If you’ve abused someone in the past, you waived your right to keeping that past a secret.
One thing I think is going to be a little hard to track, though, is who these people are in and out of relationships with on a regular basis. Like, who is going to follow these assholes around to make sure that their new partners know about their past? Is it only up to the partner or family to approach the police looking for this information? Because most of the time, abusive partners are also great manipulators, so odds are, their partner isn’t going to be suspicious until they’re actually suffering from the abuse.
I also really hope that this policy is a wake-up call for the rest of the world. The fact that Saskatchewan has to be the first to enact any kind of a domestic abuse-related civil rights law is absurd. Justin Trudeau, if you’re reading this (which you probably aren’t because the Carillon doesn’t supply the tropical beaches you vacation on), then please seriously consider making this federal law.
Regardless of whether this law will actually have a positive effect or not, I think it’s a nice gesture by our government to acknowledge these types of situations exist. Because, far too often, we hear of people in abusive relationships that are so far in they can’t back out – whether it’s because they are scared their partner will kill them, or they are financially dependent on that partner. So if we can find a way to warn people before the relationship becomes serious, then that’s one less person we have to worry for.