An alternative court for people who have been charged with domestic violence has expanded to Hay River.
The Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO) Court officially came into effect Monday. It will also serve the K’atł’odeeche First Nation and residents from Enterprise.
Justice officials say the court allows people to accept responsibility for their behaviour and enter a specialized program to learn how to make productive choices in their relationships.
“This is another step we are taking to work with people to break the cycle of domestic violence,” said justice minister David Ramsay in a statement.
“Through the support of the judiciary and our partners we are providing this valuable program to the residents of the Hay River area.
“We look forward to continuing our work to eradicate domestic violence through ongoing collaborative efforts like this.”
In order to be considered for the court and its eight-module PARTNER (Planning Action Responsibly Toward Non-Violent Empowered Relationships) program, offenders must enter a plea of guilty and be considered a low risk to reoffend.
They must also agree to remain under court supervision and return for sentencing at the end of the program.
A similar court has been operating in Yellowknife since 2011.