Know Your Rights

The rights of children

Children have the right to be safe, loved, nurtured and protected. They have the right to live in a violence-free home.

We all have a responsibility to protect children and ensure they are safe and well cared for so they can develop to their full potential.

If you suspect a child is being abused, neglected or exposed to family violence, call your local Child and Family Services Authority, the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-387-KIDS (5437) or call 911 for the police.

How the law protects you

The Protection Against Family Violence Act protects victims of family violence, including children and teens. It holds abusive family members accountable for their actions, and ensures help for family members through the use of:

Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

An EPO can:

  • order an abuser not to go places where the victim regularly goes;
  • order an abuser not to communicate with the victim; 
  • allow the victim to stay in the home and order the abuser to leave; and
  • allow for other conditions necessary to protect the victim.

There is no cost to get an Emergency Protection Order. Victims, Children and Youth Services caseworkers and police can all apply for EPOs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Adult victims can apply for an EPO at provincial court. An EPO must be reviewed in court no later than nine working days after it is granted.

Court of Queen’s Bench Protection Order

A Court of Queen’s Bench Protection Order covers the same things as an Emergency Protection Order and more. It can:

  • order an abuser to reimburse the victim for loss of money resulting from family violence;
  • determine who can temporarily possess personal property;
  • order counselling for an abuser; and 
  • authorize counselling for a child without the consent of the abuser.

There is no cost to get a Court of Queen’s Bench Protection Order. Adult victims can apply directly to Queen’s Bench for the order or in the case of an Emergency Protection Order it is always reviewed by Queen’s Bench. A Court of Queen’s Bench Protection Order can be put in place for up to a year, and can later be extended for up to one more year.

Warrant Permitting Entry

A Warrant Permitting Entry allows a police officer to access a location named in the warrant to search for, assist, or examine a family member and, with their consent, remove the family member from the location for their safety. Only police officers can apply for and use a Warrant Permitting Entry.

To learn more about how the law protects people living with family violence, visit Victim Services from Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security.

Modified: 2012-12-11
PID: 15673