Abuse Is Wrong In Any Culture: for First Nations and Métis people
What happens if I call the police?
Police should always give you the opportunity of speaking separately, away from the person who is abusing you. If you are a woman, you can also ask to be seen by a woman police officer, but this option is not always available, or you may need an interpreter.
- The police will, first and foremost, protect you and your children, and help you leave safely. If you have been assaulted or another crime has been committed, they may arrest the person who hurt you.
- Police can arrange for medical assistance. They can call an ambulance for you or take you to a hospital, nursing station or health centre.
- Police can offer you support and reassurance, and help you identify and access service providers who can help you. They can arrange transportation if you want it.
If the person who was violent is arrested, they might stay in jail until they appear in court at the bail hearing. In larger centres this can be only a few hours. After that, they may be allowed to leave, unless the court decides there is reason to keep them in jail.
If you are afraid for your safety, tell the police before the person who abused you is released. The court may set conditions before they can leave jail. For example, the court may order that they cannot call you, or see you. If they do not obey those conditions, the police can arrest them again.
If you are afraid the person will harm you when they are released, you may want to find a safe place to stay, like a temporary emergency shelter or safe home.
Also, you can ask for an "emergency protection order", or a "restraining order" or a "peace bond". These orders put conditions on what the person who was violent is allowed to do in relation to you and/or your children. For example, the order can say that they are not allowed to contact you or communicate with you for some time, or that you and your children can remain in the house, and they have to leave.
If the person who hurt you does not follow these rules, they can be fined or go to jail.
If the judge or justice of the peace wants more information before granting an order, he/ she might ask you, and the person being abusive, to come to a hearing. Each of you will have a chance to tell your side of the story. You do not need a lawyer for this hearing, unless you want to have one, but the police will be there and you can let them know if you are afraid for your safety.
It is often hard for people who were abused to ask for help. They feel loyal to family members and often count on them for everyday living. But an emergency protection order, restraining order or peace bond can be very helpful to you and your children.
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