FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 10:10 a.m.
(Ottawa) In conjunction with recommendations made by Ottawa violence against women (VAW) frontline responders and advocates, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has changed the name of its violence unit wife in a domestic violence unit.
“We understand that women and other vulnerable groups associate issues of violence against women with strictly physical issues due to the use of words like ‘assault’,” the acting chief said. Steve Bell. “It’s important to make a distinction between the fact that domestic violence can include anything from coercion, threats, stalking or even controlling behaviors.”
The OPS is committed to assisting and supporting victims or survivors of violence and abuse, but despite these continued investments, violence against vulnerable populations remains one of the most common forms of police-reported crime. in our city and across the country.
“We learned that language is important, especially when it comes to education and support,” Acting Chief Bell said. “That’s why we incorporate the use of terms like femicide.”
In 2019, the federal government obtained Royal Assent for Bill C-75; An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts.
Among others, some of the highlights of these changes include:
- Defining “intimate partner” for all criminal code and specify that it includes current or former spouse, spouse, common-law partner and dating partner;
- Specify that strangulation constitutes a high form of aggression and a more serious form of sexual aggression;
- Create a new section to direct a court to prioritize the objectives of denunciation and deterrence when imposing a sentence for an offense of intimate partner violence where the victim is vulnerable due to their personal circumstances
- Create a new section to direct a court imposing a sentence for an offense of intimate partner violence to take into account the increased vulnerability of female victims, with particular attention to the circumstances of “Aboriginal female victims” .
The purpose of Bill C-75 was to strengthen the criminal law response to domestic violence, and these amendments are expected to standardize practices to address gaps in the criminal justice system and protect victims or abuse survivors.
Over the past few years, Ottawa’s frontline partners and organizations like Peel Regional Police, Waterloo Regional Police, our federal government and the World Health Organization have embraced the term intimate partner violence.
“By changing the name of our response unit to using the term ‘intimate partner violence’, we recognize that violence goes beyond physical assault,” said Acting Chief Bell. “We hope that anyone who has experienced domestic violence will feel comfortable coming forward if they recognize they are in an unhealthy relationship.”
If you or someone you know is being abused, you can contact our Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.
– 30 –