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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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What happens if I call the police?

If you call 911, a police car will be sent to your home. When the police arrive, let them in. Even if you do not agree or your partner tries to stop them from coming in, the police can enter your home if:

  • they have reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has occurred, or is about to take place, or
  • you or someone else called 911.

If you have left your home, you can call the police again when you are in a safe place.

You can tell the police:

  • you want to talk to them privately
  • exactly what happened, and whether you were assaulted, threatened, or suffered any other kind of abuse
  • if the abuse has happened before
  • if any weapons were used and whether there are other weapons in your home
  • if there are children or others who need help
  • if anybody saw or heard the incident or assault
  • if you feel unsafe

The police might want to make a video of your statement at the police station.

It is your choice whether you want to make a statement to the police. Even if you called the police, you are not required to make a statement.

It is not up to you what happens next. If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, the police must bring criminal charges.

Even if they do not bring a charge, they are supposed to complete an occurrence report. If the police do not bring a charge, you might be able to bring one yourself.

Occurrence report: the police summary of what happened. It has details such as what you and your partner told them, and what the police saw. The report should include an occurrence or incident number.

You can ask the police:

  • for the information in the occurrence report, including the occurrence or incident number
  • to take pictures of your injuries
  • to help you leave, or to take you to a shelter
  • to give you their names and badge numbers
  • to refer you to Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario, for support and help addressing your safety concerns.

You should also know that recordings of 911 calls can be used as evidence in court.