http://thans.ca/domestic-violenc…ties-nova-scotia/

Judges and justices of the peace can now issue emergency protection orders for families, rather than only a peace bond.

METRO FILE

Justice Minister Diana Whalen

First Nations families dealing with domestic violence now have greater access to protection, according to the province.

In a press release, Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister Diana Whalen announced Wednesday that judges and justices of the peace can now issue emergency protection orders for families in First Nations communities.

Those families will now have the same access to protection from domestic violence as other Nova Scotians, where as before they could only get a peace bond to keep that spouse away during regular working hours.

“Applying emergency protection orders on reserves gives Mi’kmaw families increased well-being and reduces the risk of harm in times of crisis,” Paula Marshall, executive director of Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network said in a press release.

Family and provincial courts could issue emergency protection orders under the Nova Scotia Domestic Violence Intervention Act, but before Wednesday’s announcement the law did not extend to those in First Nations communities.

“Mi’kmaw families dealing with violence in the home can benefit from emergency protection orders just as other Nova Scotians do,” said Whalen in the release.

“We are glad to support a process that respects First Nations laws that extend important protection to families in crisis.”

First Nations families can visit nsfamilylaw.ca for information on emergency protection orders and how to apply for them.