What to expect from the Police
The job of the police officer responding to domestic violence incidents is to:
- Conduct an Investigation
- Gather Evidence
- Establish Reasonable Cause
- Enforce the Law
If the police are called for a domestic incident, they must respond even if you or someone else calls back to cancel.
To maximize their safety and the safety of others, at the location of the incident, the Police will:
- Separate you, and any children that may be present, from your attacker.
- Keep you out of ear/eye shot of attacker.
- Ask you and your attacker what happened.
- Ask you about this incident and any previous incidents.
- Ask to see and speak to your children.
- Ask your children about this incident and any previous incidents.
At the location of the incident, Police must also complete a domestic incident report, also called a DIR. As part of this process, Police will:
- Ask you to complete a statement about what happened.
- Your statement is a record of the event that you may need in the future.
- You can write your statement down yourself or dictate it to an officer.
- The police will ask you to sign your statement. Read it very carefully before signing it to make sure that it is accurate. Keep it in a safe place. You may need it to apply for crime victim’s compensation.
- Provide you with Notice of your rights as a victim of domestic violence (VRN) and 3 pink copies of the DIR, including:
- Page 1 with the officer’s name and badge number.
- A check off sheet with the officer’s narrative on front.
- Your statement, even if you did not complete or sign it.
Don’t assume that:
- Involvement with the criminal justice system can end the abuse.
- Anyone else, other than the abuser, can make you or your children safe. Only the abuser can make you safe by stopping his behavior.
- An Order of Protection will end the abuse.
If you are not satisfied
You are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect by everyone, including the Police. You may have concerns with how the Police treated you, or how they responded to calls for assistance from you or on your behalf. For example:
- If the police do not come when called to a domestic incident, call again until they respond.
- If the police do not respond as outlined above, contact their supervisor and provide the name and badge number of the police officer(s) that responded to the incident.
- Document what happened, who you talked to, and their response.