Emergency protection orders now available in First Nations communities

Justice Minister Diana Whalen says Mi'kmaw families now have the same access to protections from domestic violence that other Nova Scotians have.

She announced Wednesday that judges and justices of the peace can now issue emergency protection orders for families living in First Nations communities.

Until now, Mi'kmaw families could call 911 for immediate relief from an abusive spouse, but could only get a peace bond from the court during regular working hours.

Emergency protection orders allow a family to get court protection more quickly, and can now be issued by judges and justices of the peace under federal or First Nations laws.

Paula Marshall, executive director of Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network, says having more options available to high-risk families is paramount to safety.