An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is an order granted to someone who has experienced serious family violence and is in urgent need of protection. Emergency Protection Orders are only appropriate in specific circumstances. The people involved must be family members and there must have been family violence, which are defined below.

​Family violence is:

  • an injury to family members or damage to property that is intended to intimidate or harm a family member;
  • any act or threat that causes a family member to be afraid for their safety or their property, and which is intended to intimidate or harm a family member;
  • forced confinement;
  • sexual abuse; and/or
  • stalking.

Family members are persons who are:​

  • or have been married to one another;
  • or have been adult interdependent partners of one another;
  • living together or have lived together in an intimate relationship;
  • the parents of one or more children, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time;
  • related to each other by blood, marriage, adoption or by virtue of an adult interdependent relationship;
  • residing together where one of the persons has care and custody over the other pursuant to an order, and
  • children under the care and custody of a person in any of the circumstances listed above.

If an Emergency Protection Order is granted, the person named in the order (called "the Respondent") will be prohibited from contacting the person who applied for the order (called "the Claimant") and may also stop the Respondent from going to the Claimant's residence or place of work. Other conditions can be imposed if the Judge decides they are necessary. It is also expected that the Claimant will not contact the Respondent. A Respondent who breaks (or "breaches") an Emergency Protection Order may be fined or incarcerated. Police and crown prosecutors handle breaches.

Emergency Protection Orders are granted under the Protection against Family Violence Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. P-27


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