Back to top
Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act

BILL NO. 4

(as introduced)

1st Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
66 Elizabeth II, 2017



Private Member's Bill



Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act



Karla MacFarlane
Pictou West



First Reading: September 26, 2017

(Explanatory Note)

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

Explanatory Note

This Bill entitles a victim of sexual violence to be treated with respect when testifying about the sexual violence and enshrines the right of a victim of sexual violence to legal representation. It also requires the Director of Victim Services to pay, out of the General Revenue Fund of Nova Scotia, the reasonable costs of legal representation for a victim of sexual violence who wants, but cannot afford, legal representation in relation to the prosecution of the accused.

An Act to Amend Chapter 14
of the Acts of 1989,
the Victims' Rights and Services Act

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act.

2 Section 2 of Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1989, the Victims' Rights and Services Act, as amended by Chapter 36 of the Acts of 1992, is amended by adding immediately after clause (d) the following clause:

(da) "sexual violence" means

(i) any sexual act,

(ii) any attempt to obtain a sexual act,

(iii) any unwanted sexual comments, or

(iv) any advances or act to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person's sexuality using coercion,

by any person, contrary to an enactment of the Province or of the Parliament of Canada, regardless of the person's relationship to the victim and the setting in which the act or attempted act occurs;

3 Section 3 of Chapter 14 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:

(1A) A victim of sexual violence has

(a) the right to be treated with respect when giving evidence about the sexual violence; and

(b) the right to legal representation in relation to the prosecution of the accused.

4 Chapter 14 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 4 the following Section:

4A (1) On application by a victim of sexual violence, the Director shall authorize the payment of the reasonable fees and expenses of legal representation for the victim in relation to the prosecution of the accused if the Director is satisfied that the victim would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation.

(2) The fees and expenses payable under subsection (1) must be paid out of the General Revenue Fund of the Province.

(3) The money required for the purpose of this Section must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature and, for greater certainty, no money is payable pursuant to this Section until the money is appropriated by the Legislature.

5 Chapter 14 is further amended by striking out "Consolidated" everywhere it appears and substituting "General Revenue".


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2017 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created September 26, 2017. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.