Overview of Police and Outside Agency Involvement

Police Response

  • When you call 911, you will be asked several questions before the officer arrives.
  • When the police arrive, let them in; if you cannot answer the door, officers do have the authority to enter your home to make sure you are safe.
  • Even if your partner answers the door, police will speak to you separately as well.
  • It is important to reiterate the danger you feel.
  • An officer may photograph your injuries to use as evidence.
  • If you have serious injuries, the ambulance will take you to the nearest hospital.  You may also attend York Central Hospital to be seen by the York Region Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Care Team.
  • The team has a domestic abuse / sexual assault care nurse on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 



  • It is a police responsibility to lay charges when there are reasonable grounds to do so. You do not lay the charges, the police do. The officer will encourage you to provide a (video) statement at the police station to help them with their investigation. 
  • If the police are going to lay charges, your partner will be arrested.
  • If there are firearms in your home, police have the authority to seize them.
  • Whether or not your partner is arrested, an incident report is generated. It is helpful for you to record the report number.
  • When the police do not lay charges, you may present your case to a Justice of the Peace and swear to an affidavit to lay private charges against your partner.
  • You may also apply for a restraining order through family court.  You may apply for this if you fear for your safety from your partner or ex-partner or for the safety of anyone in your custody.
  • If your partner is arrested, you will be contacted about conditions of the release.
  • If the police are called to investigate abuse by your partner or ex-partner, they are required to contact the Children’s Aid Society if there are children under the age of 16.



  • Shelters are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day. You can also phone shelters for advice, support and guidance on any legal and safety issues.
  • If your partner has been charged, you can also call the Victim/Witness Assistance Program for information regarding release conditions and court appearances. The Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) is designed to help those who are involved in a criminal case, either as a witness or as a victim.
  • Victim Services of York Region may be referred to you by York Regional Police. They will assist victims and their families by reducing trauma, helping to cope with the impact of the abuse, and to offer encouragement and support. They can assist with Safety Planning and connecting you with resources within the community.
  • Victim Services of York Region, the Victim/Witness Assistance Program and shelters can assist with family court matters as well. Family court involves a variety of legal issues, including: divorce and separation, child custody and access, division of family property, child / spousal support, and child protection. These issues are not addressed in criminal court.