1993 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 35th Parliament

The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


BILL M 223


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:


1 In this Act,

"Abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members or current or former sexual or intimate partners.

(a) Attempting to cause or purposely or recklessly causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon;

(b) Purposely placing or attempting to place another in fear of imminent bodily injury either by physical menace or by threats to commit a crime against the person of the other;

(c) Attempting to or engaging in sexual penetration with another under force or against another's will;

(d) The infliction of false imprisonment;

"Family or Household member" means

(a) A spouse, an ex-spouse, persons cohabiting with each other, persons who cohabited with each other but no longer share the same residence; and

(b) Parents and other persons related by consanguinity or affinity other than minor children who reside with the defendant.


2 (1) The peace officer may arrest a person if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed an act of abuse within the preceding six hours or has assaulted, threatened with a dangerous weapon or dangerous instrument, or placed in fear of immediate bodily harm the person's family or household member.

(2) The peace officer shall not ask the victim if he or she wants an arrest to be made, nor shall the officer fail to make the arrest because the victim asks the officer not to or says he or she will not cooperate in the prosecution of the case.

(3) The arrest may be made even though the assault did not take place in the presence of the peace officer.

(4) Subsequent to an arrest, the officer shall seize any dangerous weapon or dangerous instrument in the control, ownership or possession of the defendant which may have been used during the violation of a protective order.

Violation of protective orders

3 When a defendant violates either a temporary or permanent protective order (restraining order, peace bond) by committing assault, criminal trespass, vandalism or another criminal act, officers shall arrest the defendant.

Notice of rights

4 (1) The peace officer shall tell the victim whether a shelter or other services are available in the community and give the victim immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available.

(2) In each and every response to a domestic disturbance, the officer shall advise the victim of abuse of his or her right to petition the court for a restraining order against the attacker.

Report Required

5 (1) Whenever a peace officer investigates an allegation that an incident described in section 1 has occurred, whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall make a written police report of the alleged incident.

(2) The officer shall submit the report to the officer's supervisor or other person to whom the employer's rules or policies require reports of similar allegations of criminal activity to be made.


6 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Explanatory Notes

A policy of zero tolerance in matters of family violence is recognized by the adoption of mandatory arrest. Enforcement officers in all jurisdications across the province are given the legal authority to arrest and press charges against offenders in cases of domestic violence, or in cases in which domestic violence is likely to occur.

The government's "Policy on the Criminal Justice System Response to Violence Against Women and Children, Part I: Violence Against Women in Relationships Policy" stipulates that peace officers, when there are grounds to believe an offence has occurred, should always arrest when it is in the public interest, including when an officer believes an offence may be repeated".

The government's policy is that protection to the victim is available after the offence. However, measures must be in place to protect potential victims and victims from acts of violence.

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