Abuse Is Wrong In Any Culture: Inuit

What happens if the police charge the person being abusive?

If the person who is being abusive pleads guilty to assaulting you or your children, the court will sentence him. The sentence may be a fine, probation, time in jail, or a combination of these things. The person who is being abusive may have to get counselling as part of probation.

Whether he gets jail time or not will depend on a number of things such as whether or not this is a first offence and how bad the abuse was. If you are afraid, tell the Crown attorney or the victim services worker. The court can set conditions on his release, such as not contacting you. Or if you're afraid jail will mean you and your family have no food, then the court may agree to another punishment, such as spending time working for the community.

If the person who is being abusive says he is not guilty, you will have to be a witness at his trial. If you want, you may be allowed to provide your testimony from behind a screen or from another room by closed-circuit television so that you do not have to see your abuser while you tell your story. You may also be able to have a support person near you, to make you more comfortable while you testify.

It may be several months before the trial starts. If the court finds the person being abusive guilty, he will be sentenced. The Crown attorney can tell you about victim services in your province or territory, who can help you and explain the court process.

The phone numbers for these people are listed in the "Emergency Services for Abused Women and Children" section.

If the person being abusive is found guilty by the court, he may be ordered to serve his sentence in the community under a "Community Sentence Order", sometimes called "house arrest". The judge can include many conditions in the order to help you and your children stay safe, such as that he keep the peace, not drink or use drugs, stay in his residence and not call or see you. Ask the Crown attorney and victim services worker before the trial starts what can be done.

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