High domestic violence rate remains unaddressed in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan continues to lead the provinces with an unacceptable rate of domestic violence, but the Sask. Party is still refusing to take any concrete steps to address the growing problem.

“The NDP has brought up this issue time and time again, and we are committed to working with the Sask. Party to find an effective solution for everyone in the province who faces some sort of violence or abuse in their everyday lives,” said Nicole Sarauer, the NDP Critic for Women as well as Justice, Policing, and Corrections. “This continues to be a problem in Saskatchewan and its well past time to start taking action.”

Sarauer noted that Saskatchewan’s neighbours to the east and west have both implemented pieces of legislation that can provide relief to victims of domestic violence. Alberta's Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence Act allows a victim to break a lease in order to escape a dangerous living situation. In Manitoba, the employment standards code was amended to allow sick leave for victims of domestic violence. Sarauer said she will continue to push for changes like these to be made in Saskatchewan.

In response to calls from the NDP in October 2015, the Sask. Party did commit to reviewing domestic violence deaths but the recommendations won’t be released until the fall of 2017.

“The province has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of domestic violence for many years and, during the nearly decade of record revenues, the Sask. Party failed to properly address domestic violence and more and more people are suffering,” said Sarauer. “While the Sask. Party has racked up more than a $1 billion-dollar deficit and is forcing the people of Saskatchewan to pay for Sask. Party mismanagement, scandal, and waste, it’s my hope that they can still take some meaningful action to address this disturbing trend.”