Department of Justice

Domestic Violence

Dealing with Different Crimes

Victim Services

Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO)

DVTO is a therapeutic court for individuals who have been charged with domestic violence.  It is an alternative to the regular court system.

DVTO is intended to help offenders take responsibility for the violent behaviour. It tries to help people who have been charged with domestic violence understand and ‘unlearn’ their abusive behaviour. The offender will always be required to take programming.

In order for an offender to participate in DVTO, the offender must take responsibility for their abusive behaviour and plead guilty to the charge before the court.

DVTO and the Victim

Victim Services can provide victims of spousal assault with support, counselling and information at any time in the DVTO court process if they want it. 

Victim Services can also attend DVTO Court with you, or on your behalf and keep track of what is going on in court with your partner.

Every effort is made to also address the victim's needs and concerns while the offender is participating in the treatment program. Safety considerations are given the highest priority.

The court encourages the victim to be heard at all stages of its process and may direct that appropriate court documents be made available to the victim.

Benefit of DVTO for offenders

DVTO provides assessment, counselling, support for offenders. At the same time, it uses the authority of judges to monitor the behaviour of offenders in order to maximize the safety of victims.

To learn more about DVTO, please read the DVTO Brochure  or contact Victim Services.