All incidents of domestic violence are monitored by the Halton Regional Police Service Domestic Violence Investigative Unit (DVIU).
The DVIU, managed by a Detective Sergeant, is staffed by 25 specially-trained investigators and a Domestic Violence Safety Coordinator.
The DVIU is responsible for:
- Investigating all confirmed cases of domestic violence, laying the appropriate charges and assisting the Crown Attorney in the prosecution of those charges;
- Assisting the victims of domestic violence and assessing safety concerns;
- Monitoring high-risk domestic violence cases and representing the HRPS on the Halton Assessment and Risk Reduction Team;
- Overseeing, reviewing and monitoring the Halton Regional Police Service’s response to domestic violence and the related policies and procedures; and
- Coordinating training programs associated with domestic violence awareness.
The DVIU, in some cases, offers a Mobile Information Safety System (MISS) phone program. This program provides a special phone to potentially high-risk victims of domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence Safety Coordinator is responsible for managing the MISS program as well as the following:
- Contacting all victims of domestic violence where charges are laid;
- Addressing safety concerns associated with each case through coordination of personal safety plans;
- Providing referrals to the appropriate agency when necessary; and
- Participating in the identification and management of high-risk domestic violence offenders.
The Halton Regional Police Service DVIU promotes public awareness of domestic violence issues through various partnerships with community agencies located throughout Halton Region. These partnerships enable the DVIU to remain at the forefront of emerging issues and to take the necessary steps to ensure the Halton Regional Police Service remains an effective responder to domestic violence.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an intimate relationship?
What is domestic violence?
Do charges always have to be laid?
What are reasonable grounds?
What happens if the police are called?
What happens when the police lay a charge(s)?
What happens if an accused is convicted?
What is the Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP)?
What else happens when the police are involved?
Will my immigration status be affected if I’m not a citizen or landed immigrant?
What if I have a child custody dispute?
What if I think charges should be laid but the police don’t?
How do I get a Restraining Order?
What is an Exclusive Possession Order?
Following is a brief listing of Domestic Violence safety tips.
A detailed safety plan is important and is available by contacting the HRPS Domestic Violence Safety Coordinator.
Contact the Halton Regional Police Service or shelter if you have any immediate concerns:
- Leave the home or call police before the violence starts, if possible.
- If possible, keep a charged cell phone with you at all times. Be aware that even if you have no minutes on a minute plan your cell phone will work to call 9-1-1.
- If you need to leave your home or workplace, know the best escape routes and practice your emergency exit plans. Teach any children the escape route as well.
- Plan where you can go if you need to leave. These places should be safe locations.
- If possible, make a safe area in your home that you and children can go to when you feel threatened and cannot leave. Avoid kitchens, bathrooms, the garage and other rooms which contain anything that can be used as a weapon. Don’t use a room without outside access.
- If possible, change all the locks on the home and install an alarm system and good lighting such as motion detectors.
- Keep your purse / wallet nearby if you need to leave.
- Keep spare keys to your car and home with you or in a safe place.
- Also keep copies of important documents in a safe place, preferably with a friend or family member outside of your home. These documents include:
- Birth certificates
- Driver’s licence(s)
- Insurance information
- Bank information
- Mortgage or lease papers
- Immigration documents
- Health records
- School records
- Other court documents
- Keep a small bag of clothes packed and hidden.
- Make your employer/co-workers aware of your situation and ask them to call police if they see your partner around your workplace. Give them a photo of your partner if you have one.
- Direct employers / co-workers not to give out your contact information to anyone and not to give out your work schedule.
- Arrange for someone at work to walk with you to your car or walk with you from the building when leaving work.
While Driving or While In Transit:
- If a problem arises while you are driving, use your cell phone to call police or On Star if you have it. Honk your horn, flash your lights and drive to a police station that you know is open or to a heavily-populated public place such as a well-lit coffee shop.
- If you use public transportation, sit close to the driver. If you can, have a friend walk you home or meet you and walk you home together.
- Let friends and relatives know where you are at all times. Also let them know the times you are expected home (and be home at those times) so that they can contact the police in the event you are missing.
- Tell friends, neighbours and family about the domestic abuse and create a code word or signal with them to let them know that you need help so that they can call the police for you.
- Ensure that your children’s schools and/or daycare provider has a copy of all orders, including all restraining orders, custody and access orders as well as a photo of the accused party.
- Decide on a code word for your children to let them know to go and get help. Let them know where to go and how to use the phone to place a 9-1-1 call to police. Rehearse with them what to do and say.
There are a variety of resources available on the internet to help you deal with your situation. Please use caution when accessing such sites. It may be safer for you to access from a public library or from a family member or friend's computer so that your partner cannot check to see what sites you have looked at.
For more information about the Halton Regional Police Service Domestic Violence Investigative Unit, please contact
Staff Sergeant Alison Freeman
905-825-4747 ext. 8799