Abuse Is Wrong In Any Culture: Inuit

What happens if I call the police?

If the police think you have been assaulted, or some other crime has been committed, the person who abused you may be charged with the crime. You will have to tell the police about the abuse. The police may also arrest him.

Most police officers are trained to deal with abuse in families and relationships. They can take you to a hospital, health centre or nursing station if you need treatment … or they can help you and your children leave safely.

If the person is arrested, he might stay in jail until he appears in court at the bail hearing. In larger centres that may be only a few hours. After that, he may be allowed to leave, unless the court decides there is a good reason to keep him in jail.

If you are afraid for your safety, tell the police before the person who was abusive is let go. The court may set conditions for his release. For example, the court may order that he must not call you or see you. If he does not obey the conditions, the police can arrest him again.

If you are afraid he will hurt you when he is released, you may want to find a safe place to stay, like a temporary emergency shelter or safe home.

Or you can ask for an "emergency protection order" (civil, if available), a "restraining order" (civil or family) or a "peace bond" (criminal). These orders put conditions on what the person who hurt or threatened you is allowed to do in relation to you or your children. For example, the order can say that he isn't allowed to contact you or communicate with you for some time, or that you and your children can remain in the house without him.

If the person who is being abusive doesn't follow these rules he can be fined or go to jail.

If the judge or justice of the peace wants more information before granting an order he or she might ask you, and the other person, to come to a hearing. Each of you will have a chance to tell your side of the story. You don't need a lawyer for this hearing, unless you want to have one.

It is often hard for abused people to ask for help. They feel loyal to family members and often count on them for everyday living. But an emergency protection order, restraining order or peace bond can help.

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