Part 7: Domestic Violence – Why Do Victims Not Cooperate?

Why do some victims not cooperate with the police?

A. Sometimes victims do not realize that the police have to make an arrest if there has been a criminal offence. Police officers can’t just come in and speak the abuser and leave. Many victims ask for the police officers to “scare” the abuser and leave but when informed that police officers cannot just leave they choose not to cooperate.

B. The abuser is the earning member of the family. When the “breadwinner” is arrested the victim fears that the family may fall apart; hence, they do not cooperate.

C. Continuing interaction despite order of no contact. In this scenario, the abuser has conditions not to contact the victim but they continue to interact, live together and act as a couple. Although the victim has the upper hand because she/he can call the police for breach of conditions if the abuser retaliates/becomes abusive again we cannot do much if they choose to live together. We can arrest the abuser for breaching his conditions.

D. New immigrants lack the knowledge of legal procedures.
this case, victims that are new immigrants are really scared because they are not knowledgeable about the justice procedures and are afraid that they may be deported.   Some immigrants also assume that corrupt procedures from their native land also apply in Canada. Consequently, immigrants hesitate to cooperate with police.

E. Victims are threatened by their abusers. Abusers often threaten the victim further with harsher abuse, even death, if the victim attempts to seek help.


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