Domestic/Family Incident

Any incident that the police have been called to investigate between family members or two persons who have been or are presently involved in an intimate relationship, regardless of whether a criminal offence has occurred.


Domestic Violence

Any use of physical force, actual or threatened, or threatening/harassing behaviour between persons who are or have been involved in an intimate relationship.


Intimate Relationship

An intimate relationship includes a relationship, of any duration, between opposite-sex or same-sex partners, including current or former dating, common-law or married couples.


Criminal Harassment (Stalking)

Occurs when a person repeatedly follows or watches (stalks), communicates or threatens another and where the victim reasonably fears for their safety or for the safety of anyone known to them. (For a complete definition refer to Section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada.)

A decision to lay charges shall not be influenced by any of the following factors:

  • marital status/cohabitation of both parties;
  • disposition of previous police calls involving the same victim and suspect;
  • the victim’s unwillingness to cooperate;
  • likelihood of obtaining a conviction in court;
  • verbal assurances by either party that the violence will cease;
  • denial by either party that the violence has occurred;
  • the officer’s concern about reprisals against the victim by the suspect;
  • gender, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status or occupation of the victim or suspect.


What victims can do:

If you think you may be the victim of domestic/family violence, call police or one of the support groups linked to this site.

Refer to the [Safety Planning] section of this website for more information.


What police will do:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation;
  • Advise victims that police will lay charges when reasonable grounds exist;
  • Advise that neither police nor victims can withdraw charges;
  • Obtain statements (written/videotaped);
  • Take photographs (scene/injuries) when appropriate;
  • Gather evidence (answering machine tapes/notes/etc.);
  • Obtain services of interpreters when needed;
  • Notify CAS if either party has children under 16 years of age;
  • Provide a Safety Plan when appropriate;
  • Provide information about available victim services;
  • Provide a criminal incident pamphlet;
  • Complete a Risk Assessment with your input when charges are laid in cases of intimate relationships.


Where charges are not laid, police may give advice on Restraining Orders, Peace Bonds and how to contact shelters and Victim Services of York Region.