Common Questions About Domestic Assault in Canada: Part 1

Domestic assault in Canada has garnered some extra attention in recent weeks due to reports that there has been in increase in cases due to people being stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to know some facts about domestic assault in Canada and want some answers to your questions, then read on below.

What is Domestic Assault in Canada?

Domestic assault is not listed as a specific offence in the Criminal Code of Canada. It is only tackled under sections of the criminal code that talks about the different types of assault and described as an alleged assault that occurs within a domestic relationship.

What is the Meaning of Domestic Relationship?

Domestic relationship pertains to an intimate relationship between two individuals of the same sex or the opposite sex as spouses, common law partners, or boyfriend/girlfriend.

What Makes a Domestic Assault Charge So Serious?

Both the police and the Crown Attorney’s office take domestic assault allegations seriously because it is often prevalent in a given society, it involves a huge power imbalance in relationships where the abuser is a man and the abused is the woman, it can have a significant impact on the children living in the home, and it carries a significant risk of violence escalation if not addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.

What Happens After the Police Are Called for an Alleged Domestic Assault?

The police will interview the victim, witnesses, and the accused to investigate the assault. If reasonable grounds are found, an arrest will be made followed by a bail hearing. Any injuries that the victim suffered will be photographed and treated before a formal statement is taken. The police will also assess if there are safety issues for the victim and see if the victim and children involved can be connected to the Children’s Aid Society and the Victim Witness Assistance Program.

Are Charges Always Made by the Police?

This is done if the police found reasonable ground to do so.

What Constitutes Reasonable Grounds for a Charge of Domestic Assault?

If the gathered facts are enough to give an ordinary person reason to believe that assault has occurred, then that is enough to charge someone with domestic assault. The facts could be from witnesses, the victims, or what officers have personally observed.

Do you have more questions about domestic assault in Canada? Contact Toronto lawyer Calvin Barry for more in-depth answers by an experienced domestic abuse attorney. Calvin Barry has decades of expertise dealing with charges of domestic abuse and violence.