Legal Aid Alberta says they are seeing more and more emergency protection orders pop up on their desks every day. There has been a 17 per cent increase since 2018 and this puts a strain on the legal system as they are dealing with about 100 calls daily. A lawyer with Legal Aid says they are finding a lot of the orders filed are by women.
“Vast majority of the EPO’s that we see before our courts are applied for by women. Police may also apply on behalf of a victim. We want it to stop and how it stops is a fundamental question that I think what we all need as Albertans, we all need to think about and answer that question. To be vigilant to know that this is sometimes a crime, it’s a civil matter before the court and it’s happening behind closed doors,” said Christina Riddoch, Staff Lawyer with Legal Aid Alberta.
Riddoch says the increased incidents of violence have been attributed to the financial strain of a job loss and the higher cost of living.