Part 3 – Victim Statement: The Voice of the Victim

1. When can victim statement be given?

Answer:
Statement can be given on the scene or at a police station. Although the victim can choose not to give a statement, it is recommended. If a victim does not want to make a statement immediately, they can provide it at a later time (follow up with the investigation police officer)

2. What’s the importance of a video statement?

Answer: A video statement will allow the prosecutor to assess how the victim is reacting to the situation through facial expressions and body language.

3. What’s the role of Victim Services?

Answer: We inform Victim Services if there is an assault and we give Victim Services the victims contact information and details. If the domestic matter is solely verbal then cops don’t have enough evidence to substantiate any criminal offence. Accordingly, both parties are referred to Victim Services and one party leaves to diffuse the situation. Once again, it is optional for the victim to contact Victim Services. Police officers can also offer both parties options such as marriage counselling etc.

4. What if the victim is injured?

Answer: If a victim is injured we can ask them to sign a medical release form to get their medical history but it’s optional for the victim to release that information and to sign the form. Police officers also encourage individuals to provide pictures of any injuries.

5. What happens after a statement is provided?

Answer: Once a statement is provided, it will become part of the court case. It is disclosed to all individuals involved. Once you have provided a witness statement, you can’t withdraw it or change it. However, you can follow up with investigating officer if you believe that clarification or changes are required. Victims are recommended to tell everything in their own words. Don’t leave anything out. All details are crucial to police.

6. What happens if the alleged abuser is on the scene?

Answer:  If the accused is on the scene and there are reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offence took place, then there is a policy that requires the officer to lay a charge. They MUST lay a charge if there is evidence present, no discretion. The accused will be read their rights to counsel everything following that is documented.  The arrested party will be transported to police facility. Following this, there is a bail hearing – the accused can give a video statement about the matter and it will be played in court.

7. What happens if the alleged abuser has left the scene after the assault?

Answer: If the alleged abuser is not on the scene then we put out a warrant for the arrest as public safety and safety of the victim becomes paramount. When the accused is found they are transported to the police station. We arrest the accused based on the information given to us by the victim for example how they were dressed, height, age, ethnicity etc, last known location or any other relevant information.

Part 4 –  What’s the usual outcome?

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