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Stronger Protection For Women And Children

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Stronger Protection For Women And Children

McGuinty Government Reforms Family Justice For Ontarians

Ministry of the Attorney General

Restraining orders in Ontario have been strengthened to improve the security of those suffering from domestic violence, most of whom are women and children.

A breach of a restraining order made under the new provisions will now be prosecuted as a criminal offence. This increases the protections available to victims of domestic violence. For example, if a person is charged with breaching a restraining order and is likely to re-offend if released, a judge or justice of the peace can now detain this person until the trial.

This part of Ontario's family law reform legislation came into force on October 15, 2009. The legislation also expanded protections to allow partners who live together in a relationship for less than three years to apply for restraining orders.

Quick Facts

  • A new evidentiary test sets out considerations for judges when granting restraining orders.
  • The judiciary now has clear authority to order specific terms in restraining orders, to better protect victims of domestic violence and their children.

Additional Resources


“These changes will mean victims of domestic violence will have increased protections in what is often their time of greatest need. More Ontarians will now have access to restraining orders, helping them to keep themselves and their children safe from harm.”

Chris Bentley

Attorney General

“Ontario's new family law reforms will offer more protection to women who are being abused and provide better opportunities for them to build brighter futures for themselves and their children. This is an important step in moving forward on our government's agenda to help women and children live free from fear of domestic violence.”

Laurel Broten

Minister Responsible for Women's Issues

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