(The following statement was issued by the Saskatchewan RCMP in response to the provincial government’s release on instituting “Clare’s Law” as of June 29. They stated that all municipal police forces will follow it, but that the RCMP will not be – this is the RCMP’s response in explanation of their position.)
“We know there have been questions relating to how the RCMP provides support to victims of domestic violence since the announcement of changes to provincial legislation. We know these changes will be especially meaningful for anyone experiencing domestic violence.
“Investigating reports of domestic violence is not new to us. We hear you. We believe you. We will be with you every step of the way. What we want victims and survivors of domestic violence to know is that you can continue to rely on the Saskatchewan RCMP to keep you safe, 24/7.
“Domestic violence is not a private affair and causes serious harm to families and loved ones involved. It is also a serious social problem often resulting in violation of the law. We prioritize all reports of domestic violence and ensure we place the victim's safety at the forefront.
“We recognize that domestic violence continues to harm people in the communities we serve, which is why we continue to increase our efforts, services and support for all victims and survivors.
“In October, we launched a Violence in Relationships Course. This training gave our officers an opportunity to listen, firsthand, to the experiences of survivors of domestic violence. This helped our officers increase their understanding of the cycles of violence and how interactions with police impacts the situation.
“We have been involved with the planning for Clare's Law from the very beginning. We have been, and continue to be, supportive of this initiative. Early on in the discussions and planning for the implementation of Clare's Law, we identified to our partners that there may be some challenges with our participation because unlike municipal police services, the RCMP is subject to federal privacy legislation.
“The RCMP is continuing to look into the matter, and considering how best it can support Clare's Law objectives within its obligations under the federal Privacy Act. This hasn't impacted our commitment to keeping families and communities safe and we will continue to work in a cooperative manner with our partner agencies and government departments to seek solutions to the serious problem of domestic violence.
“We remain committed to helping any individual with concerns on domestic violence through processes that have always existed for the RCMP. We are also implementing a process that will ensure anyone who comes forward with concerns and is then identified by the RCMP as being at risk is safe and has access to Victim's Services and other resources to assist with their safety. It is important to note that any member of the public can access information relating to criminal convictions through provincial court houses.
“Our focus has, and always will continue to be on victims and survivors. This will never change.
“There are many resources that can assist victims and survivors with safety planning. Whether or not victims and survivors decide to report the violence to police, they can reach out to local victim services, shelters, cultural and community health centres, Indigenous friendship centres and other community centers for support.
“If you think someone you know might be a victim or survivor, we encourage you to reach out to them and encourage them to seek support and identify their support network.
“For more information on intimate partner violence and abuse, creating safety plans and where to get support, visit: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/intimate-partner-violence-and-abuse.
“Call 211, text 211 or visit website abuse.sk.211.ca to connect domestic violence victims with resources in their community. The service is free, confidential, 24/7 service available in over 175 languages, including 17 Indigenous languages.
“All non-emergency incidents can be reported to any local RCMP detachment by calling 306-310-RCMP (7267).”