Domestic violence is a pervasive social problem. It affects all Canadians to some extent, but is especially worrisome for women. "Every hour of every day, a woman in Alberta will undergo some form of interpersonal violence from an ex-partner or ex-spouse" (Wells, Boodt, & Emery, 2012). Although Alberta falls on the higher end of rates of domestic violence compared to other sub-national jurisdictions, it is not uncharacteristic of the rest of Canada (Sinha, 2012). One of the strategies to deal with domestic violence has been the introduction of specialized domestic violence legislation. Nine of the thirteen sub-national jurisdictions in Canada have active
specialized domestic violence legislation, and two sub-national jurisdictions had bills for specialized domestic violence legislation that did not get royal assent. The federal government has a bill for specialized domestic violence legislation that was passed through the Senate, and is currently in the House of Commons (Canada P. o., 2012). These statutes all have similarities, but have significant differences in several areas. Specifically they differ in their definitions of violence and what kind of relationship one has to be in, the offence and penalties provision, whether there is an arrest provision, and the duration of orders. This report compares the various
legislations, highlights the differences in legislation, and discusses the implications of the diversity of legislation throughout Canada.