How can I keep my abusive partner away from me after I leave?
Question & AnswerHow can I keep my abusive partner away from me after I leave?
Get a peace bond
If your partner is harassing you after you've left and you don't want to call the police or if the police tell you there is nothing they can do, you may want to ask the criminal court for a under section 810 of the Criminal Code. These peace bonds are sometimes called “section 810 peace bonds” or “810 recognizances”.
A peace bond is a criminal made by a justice of the peace or judge. It is a signed promise to keep the peace and have good behaviour. It can include conditions. For example, your partner may promise not to contact you or your children.
A section 810 peace bond can last for up to one year. If you still feel you're in danger after one year, you can apply again for another peace bond. You do not need to wait for it to end before applying again.
Who can apply
Anyone can ask for a peace bond.
And you can apply for a peace bond against anyone. It doesn't have to be someone you were in a relationship with. For example, you could apply for a peace bond against a neighbour or co-worker.
This is different from a . You can usually ask for a restraining order only if you were to, lived with, or had a child with the other person. Read the question “What is the difference between a restraining order and a peace bond?” to learn more.
How to get a peace bond
To get a peace bond, you must prove that you have a “reasonable fear” that the other person will:
- hurt you, someone in your family, or your pets,
- damage your property, or
- share an or video of you without your consent.
If the justice of the peace or judge agrees that there is enough evidence, they will the person to come to court for a peace bond hearing. A summons is a document that tells your partner that they must come to the court on a specific date.
On that date, the court looks at all the evidence from you and your partner and decides whether or not they should grant a peace bond and what conditions it should have.
The court process can be very slow, especially if your partner asks the court for more time to get ready. There can be many delays before the court decides whether to give you a peace bond. Your partner doesn't have to keep away from you or your children while you are waiting for the court to make a decision on the peace bond. You should make a safety plan for you and your children.
Mutual peace bonds
Sometimes a justice of the peace or judge will suggest a mutual peace bond. Or your partner might ask you to agree to sign one too.
A mutual peace bond places conditions on both you and your partner. For example, a mutual peace bond might say that neither of you can contact the other person.
If you're asked to sign a mutual peace bond, get legal help before you sign. If there is a mutual peace bond and you break it by contacting your partner, they can press criminal charges against you.
After you get a peace bond
Keep a certified copy of the peace bond with you at all times. The police need to see it before they can do anything if your partner doesn't follow the peace bond.
You might also want to give a copy to other people. For example, if there is a condition that your partner cannot contact your child, you should give a copy of the peace bond to your child's teacher or principal so that they can show it to the police if your partner tries to pick up your child from school.
If your partner does not follow the peace bond
If your partner does not follow the peace bond, the police can arrest them, charge them with a crime, and hold them for a . If your partner is released, it will likely be on stricter bail conditions than the peace bond.
If your partner is charged with a crime for not following the peace bond, you might have both family and criminal court happening at the same time.