Domestic Violence Unit
Domestic Violence is classified as any use of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in an intimate relationship, including emotional/psychological abuse or harassing behaviour. The violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten victims to make them feel powerless. Domestic violence may include a single act of abuse or a number of acts that may appear minor or trivial when viewed in isolation but collectively form a pattern that amounts to abuse. It crosses all socio-economic barriers and can occur in any intimate relationship, at any age. Domestic violence should not be viewed as a “private matter”. It is a widespread community issue that requires a coordinated community response.
The Chatham-Kent Police Service is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all its citizens. All domestic violence calls are treated seriously and thoroughly investigated. Working together, the police and citizens can deal more effectively with domestic violence than either can on its own.
In 1998, the Chatham-Kent Police Service partnered with the Crown Attorney’s office and the Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre to establish the Domestic Violence Bail Safety Pilot Project. This project was the first of its kind in Ontario and was later adopted by the Ministry of Community and Safety and Correctional Services in March of 2006. Funding was provided for a Domestic Violence Bail Safety Officer to work with the Domestic Violence Coordinator. The purpose of this program was to offer effective service to victims of domestic violence by providing increased safety through an enhanced prosecution using a victim-centred approach.
Statistics gathered in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent since 2007 indicates an increase in the number of incidents being reported, as well as an increase in the number of charges being laid.
The Domestic Violence Bail Safety Program starts when a call is made to the Chatham-Kent Police Service. Officers investigate and charge the suspect. The accused is held in custody for a bail hearing. If the accused is not immediately located, a warrant is issued for their arrest. The investigating officer provides the victim with community referrals such as the Chatham-Kent Victim Services who meet with the victim and offer emotional support and further referrals for assistance. The victim is also given an appointment to attend the following morning for an interview with a Crown Attorney. A Risk Assessment Questionnaire is reviewed and concerns are discussed. Victims can also have input prior to resolution through this contact with the Crown by expressing their expectations or making requests in regards to communication or other conditions placed on the accused. Victims are then referred to Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) where they are provided with assistance in safety planning, court preparation, and emotional support. The victim’s point of view is respected and discussed along with the risk factors involved during meetings with the Domestic Violence Unit.
Chatham-Kent’s project is recognized throughout Ontario as innovative, proactive and responsive to the gravity of domestic violence investigations.
If you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence or you are experiencing it yourself, help is available. If you are in immediate danger from your abuser at any time, call 911.
For any further information please feel free to contact:
Domestic Violence Coordinator
Chatham-Kent Police Service
519-355-2200 ext 2583
The Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre is an excellent resource to women with any question, any time of the day or night.
We provide Emergency Shelter and 24-hour crisis/help lines to women and children in crisis. If you know of a woman who is being abused or you think she is being abused, call us for information that will help you and her.
Remember, woman abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
24 HOUR CRISIS LINES:
519-354-6360 or toll free 1-800-265-0598
The Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre offers:
|24 hour crisis/help lines||Emergency shelter||Crisis supportive counselling|
|Outreach supportive counselling||Transitional Housing & support services||Support groups|
|Child witness groups||School based program||Public awareness|
|Second Stage Housing||Volunteer opportunities|