Department of Justice

Domestic Violence

Dealing with Different Crimes

Victim Services

If the police are involved

It is illegal for anyone to assault you. If you call 911 or the RCMP directly, the RCMP have to come.

A neighbour might also call the RCMP if they think an assault is happening.

What happens when the RCMP come

The police will first do what they can to stop any abuse that is happening. They will also want to ensure your immediate safety.

The police will then question you and the abusive partner. They should not talk to the two of you together.

Tell the police what happened. Give them details and show them your injuries or other damages done. Tell them if there were any witnesses, neighbours or others that might know what has been going on.

What happens if the police lay charges

If there is evidence that either spouse has been physically assaulted, the police must lay charges as assault is a crime. You don’t decide if a charge is laid, the police do.

If they charge someone, they will usually arrest and remove them from the house. If this doesn’t happen, ask why. Your safety and your children’s safety should be their number one concern.

The RCMP must also contact Family & Child Services if you have children as they might be affected.

The police will typically put conditions on the accused when they release them. These conditions will usually include a no-contact order which prevents them from contacting you. This is to help protect you. Their conditions may also include a requirement for the accused to report to a bail supervisor.

To learn more about what happens after charges are laid, visit Understanding the Court Process and the Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO).

If you’re not a Canadian citizen

If you or the abusive person are new Canadians, your call to the police doesn’t mean the abusive person will automatically be deported and it may not affect his or her immigrant status. So don’t let the abusive person use this against you as a threat.

If you don’t speak English, the RCMP will make every effort to find an interpreter.

Gathering evidence

If a charge is laid, they will need your cooperation to collect evidence (e.g. torn or bloody clothing, any weapons used to harm or threaten you).

If you are hurt, go to the doctor, hospital or community nursing station and make sure they document your injuries. RCMP will ask you for signed consent to obtain medical information. The police will want to  take photos of any damages in the house or your injuries.

Bruises may show up days later. The RCMP will want to take pictures at that time. They should contact you, but if not, contact the RCMP to have pictures taken.

Save any threatening messages, letters, texts, or emails and let the police know you have them.

The police will require an audio or videotaped statement from you. (Don’t lie on the statement as you can be charged with mischief).

If you decide to go back to the relationship, your statement to the police can still be used as evidence in a trial.

Getting support

The RCMP will refer you to Victim Services. If you want them to, they will give us your contact number and we will contact you. It’s your choice.

In Whitehorse, the RCMP can also refer you to their own Victim Assistance Volunteer Program for 24 hour support. The police may also refer you to a transition home.

Transition homes and a number of other services can provide you with information and emotional support. You don’t need to go through this alone!