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Quebec investigating after ankle bracelet didn't notify victim of abuser's proximity

Quebec’s public security ministry is investigating after it says its ankle-monitor system didn’t alert a victim that their abuser was close by.

It signals a malfunction in Quebec’s conjugal violence prevention program, which was rolled out last year.

Those accused or convicted of sexual or domestic violence are outfitted with ankle monitors. The anklets are supposed to send a signal to an app downloaded on victims’ phones when their abuser is within a certain distance. Police are also notified.

But on Sept. 9, that didn’t happen, according to the ministry.

“An offender managed to get closer to his victim,” it wrote in a Saturday press release. “However, following the emergency call, the police quickly intervened and the offender was arrested the same day.”

The release says the ministry will follow-up with the victim, and that "corrective measures" were established to prevent the malfunction from happening again.

Victims of abuse, who have former partners wearing ankle monitors, can call 1 833 905-0001 if they have any questions about the "deplorable and isolated" incident. 


Quebec was the first province to establish an ankle-monitor system for victims of domestic and sexual violence. 

The anklets, also called BARs for their French title (Bracelets antirapprochement), were put into use last year following pressure from advocates amid mounting incidents of conjugal violence. The year prior, in 2021, there were 26 reported femicides in Quebec.

So far in 2023, there have been seven possible femicides, according to Quebec-based aid group SOS-violence conjugale.

A private security company is in charge of monitoring the system. There are 178 BARs in use in Quebec. From April 1 to July 31, 2023, there have been 155 interventions due to proximity breaches, seven of which involved police. Top Stories

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