Protection order problems



Manitoba has the second-highest rate of spousal homicide in Canada, and yet 54 per cent of protection order applications are denied.

Let that sink in.

Manitoba Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh is proposing a legislation that would ban people with protection orders against them from owning a gun. The legislation would make it easier to obtain a protection order. People at high risk to offend may be required to wear a GPS tracker.

These changes come after the death of Selena Rose Keeper, 20, and Camille Runke, 49. After Runke received a protection order she made 22 complaints that her ex husband, Kevin Runke, was harassing her and stalking her. The police did nothing to help her. Keeper was denied an order of protection.

The system failed them. Now the system is trying to make a change and the majority of online comments on articles are negative. Women are living in fear. When women finally muster the courage to leave their abusive relationships and apply for a protection orders, 54 per cent of them are denied. That number is unbelievable to me when we have the second highest spousal homicide rate nation wide.

Police knew that Kevin Runke owned a gun. If the police had confiscated it maybe Camille Runke would still be alive. If we can remove the weapons from the hands of people like Kevin Runke maybe we can save more lives.

I’m standing behind this legislation and it’s something I’m willing to fight for. I’d feel better knowing that it would be harder for abusive, vindictive and murderous people to own a firearm.

I feel uncomfortable with the idea of people with a protection order against them wearing an ankle bracelet. It feels invasive. No system is perfect. There will be people who will abuse protection orders for malicious reasons. I don’t think it’s right to make someone wear an ankle bracelet. If someone is at high risk of being attacked why not station an officer to keep an eye on him or her? Or maybe ask the victim to wear a bracelet that can make the police arrive at the push of a button?

Either way, the system isn’t working and needs a change.

Kayla wants to be a broadcast journalist.

She loves conducting interviews and making short films.

Follow her on twitter @KayMLawson