It is not a private family matter. It occurs in all socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups. Domestic violence/partner violence includes violence, threats of violence, or other acts of a criminal nature including elements of emotional and psychological violence committed against a person by that person’s spouse, common-law spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or other intimate partner, past or present.
You are not alone. Ask for help, and tell a friend or family member you trust, talk to the police or a counsellor. Asking for help can be the first step in ending the cycle of violence.
Supports in place for you
The Winnipeg Police Service will:
- provide for the immediate safety of the victim and children.
- actively pursue the apprehension of the offender and the subsequent notification to the victim.
- ensure the enforcement of all court orders.
- ensure the victim is referred to the appropriate support agencies, including Manitoba Justice Crime Victim Services.
Manitoba Justice Domestic Violence Support Service helps victims of domestic violence when criminal charges have been laid and assists individuals who receive police services for domestic violence incidents that do not result in charges or arrests. Based on recent amendments to the Domestic Violence and Stalking Act, Manitoba Justice Victim Services now provides training to community services agencies so that they may become designated to provide assistance to protection order applicants. The program provides support and information to victims of domestic violence by:
- creating a safe, supportive environment to talk about the situation
- providing information about the criminal charges and the court process
- explaining the roles of those involved in the criminal justice system
- discussing safety planning and creating a protection plan to improve safety
- explaining how to get protective relief orders
- offering on-going emotional support and short-term counselling
- explaining the cycle of violence and how it can be broken
- offering support throughout the court process
- preparing victims and going to court with them, when possible
- advising Crown attorneys of concerns that victims may have about court cases
- connecting families to appropriate community resources through referral, advocacy and coordination of community resources
The program also provides victims with information about the Cellphone Emergency Limited Link-up program (CELL).
Legal remedies protecting you from further violence
Protection orders are granted on an urgent basis without notice to the respondent. They include conditions that the respondent not contact or communicate with the applicant. They can remain in effect generally for a period of 3 years and are designed to provide added protection for victims of domestic violence and/or stalking. They are granted by a judicial justice of the peace. Protection Orders are free of charge.
Release orders or undertakings are issued by a police supervisor, hearing officer, magistrate or justice after the accused has been arrested and when released prior to the court appearance. These remain in effect during the period the charge is before the court and can contain conditions forbidding the accused from having contact with victim.
Probation orders may be issued by the court at the time of sentencing and may include conditions to assist in protecting the victim and the public at large. These orders are monitored by probation officers and/or police for a specified period of time.
It is the duty and responsibility of the police to lay a charge when there are reasonable grounds to believe an assault or some other criminal offence has occurred in a domestic situation. Reasonable grounds may exist even in circumstances where there are no visible injuries or independent witnesses. It is a police officer’s duty to lay a charge whether or not the victim wishes to proceed with the matter.
Charges may include Criminal Harassment or various crimes against property if they relate to the domestic situation. They also may include:
- Physical Assault - includes shoving, punching, choking, pushing, kicking, confinement. All physical assaults are criminal offences.
- Sexual Assault - includes any forced sexual activity. Sexual assault is a crime.
- Verbal Assault - may include uttering threats to kill or injure and is a criminal offence.
Planning for your safety
Remember each protection plan is unique, because each person’s circumstances are unique. The most important thing is your safety and the safety of your children. Knowing ways to protect yourself is imperative. Please take into account the following suggestions as you plan for your safety and the safety of your children.
- If possible leave the home or call police before any violence starts.
- If you need to leave your home or workplace, know the best escape routes and practice your emergency exit plans. Teach children the escape routes.
- Plan where to go if you need to leave. This needs to be a safe place for you and your children in a time of crisis. Keep your purse/wallet nearby in case you need to leave quickly.
- Keep spare keys for your home and car with you in a safe place at all times. Keep copies of important documents and money in a safe place.
- Keep a small bag of clothes packed and hidden.
- Tell trusted friends, neighbours or relatives about the violence and create a code word or signal with them to call the police if you need help.
- Have a code word with your children that will let them know to leave and get help. Let children know whose house they can run to.
- Let children know where the cordless phone or cell phone is and how to use them.
- If you would like assistance in developing a safety plan please contact the Domestic Violence Support Service at 204-945-6851.
The impact on children
The effects on children living in homes where domestic violence/partner violence is occurring may be harmful and long lasting. We know there is a higher likelihood that these children will become involved in delinquency. If the violence is unchecked, they will come to view violence as a normal part of a relationship and they will continue this vicious cycle into their adult years.
They may also:
- feel responsible, confused, frightened and unhappy
- have insomnia, nightmares or bedwetting difficulties
- become depressed or suicidal and develop physical illnesses
- behave aggressively or withdraw to avoid attention
Resources - help is available
Support for children & youth
|Kids Help Phone
|Klinic - Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24/7)
|Klinic - Crisis Line (24/7)
|Klinic - Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line (24/7)
|Canadian Center for Child Protection
|All Nations Co-ordinated Response Network (CFS)
After Hours: 204-944-4050
|Jewish Child & Family Services
|Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth
Winnipeg Police Service
|Non-emergency (24 hours)
(but may require police to attend)
|Victim Service Unit (support and information)
Manitoba Justice Victim Services
|Victim & Witness Assistance Program
|Child Victim Support Service
|Domestic Violence Support Service
|Restorative Justice Center (RJC)
|Legal Services and Lawyer Referral Program
|Family Conciliation Separation, Custody, Access
|A Woman’s Place
|Family Law Manitoba
|The Couple Project - 485 Selkirk Ave
|Toll free province-wide crisis line (24 hrs)
|Winnipeg crisis line (24 hours)
|Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Inc. (9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
|The Laurel Centre
|Immigrant Women’s Counselling
|Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba (PEAM)
|Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre
|North End Women’s Centre
|West Central Women’s Resource Centre
|Pluri-Elles Centre de Femmes
(formerly Women In Second Stage Housing)
|Suicide - 24-hour crisis line
|Employment and income assistance
|Rainbow Resource Centre
|Men’s Resource Centre
|Willow Place Inc
|Salvation Army Booth Centre
|Men’s Resource Centre
|City & provincial emergency social allowance
(after business hours)
|Employment Income Assistance
|Men’s Resource Centre
|Native Addictions Council of Manitoba
Restorative Justice Center (RJC)
The Restorative Justice Centre provides diversion services for adult and youth males and females who have been involved in domestic and violence related incidents. If your matter has been referred to the Restorative Justice Centre (RJC), someone from the Centre will contact you within 5 – 10 days after the referral has been made.
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for Intimate Partner Violence
The Health Science Centre Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program recently expanded to provide support to adult and adolescent patients who self-disclose as a victim of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). A team of specially trained nurses will meet with you to discuss options, provide medical care, help report to police and collect forensic evidence if you choose. They will give you resources and connect you with follow up resources if you wish as well..
The IPV window is 10 days from the time of the incident and examinations will be performed for those patients with any physical or sexual assault, including strangulation. A victim may attend to HSC on their own or in the company of Police to have an exam completed.
Restorative Justice Program
We recognize there are times when victims are reluctant to report domestic violence because they are fearful that their partner will be arrested and charged. Statistics show that 60% off all DV victims don't want the relationship to end, rather the violence to stop.
In response, the Winnipeg Police Service participates in a program where some offenders are referred to a Restorative Justice Program. This offering is an important consideration for some victims wrestling with the idea of reporting. It has helped many victims to come forward to report this violence to police so the offender gets the help they need and the victim no longer must suffer in silence.
Restorative Justice provides the opportunity for both victims and offenders to be active participants in justice and accountability. Participants referred to the program receive programming within the community that is determined by the Restorative Justice Centre. Upon successful completion of programming, criminal charges are not laid.
The following criteria must be met to be eligible for referral to the Restorative Justice Program:
- Offender has no previous domestic violence charges involving the same victim
- Offender has no previous domestic violence charges in the past five years (Older charges of five or more years can not include same victim)
- Offender accepts responsibility
- Victim agrees with diversion program
- Offences that are not eligible for consideration are: Aggravated Assault, Assault Cause Bodily Harm, any Firearm related offences or offences of a sexual nature.