Information on reporting to the police.

Do the police need to be called?

No. Your care at the hospital is confidential and private. The police or your parents will only be contacted if you ask us to.

For cases of child abuse, assault or neglect, the Ministry of Children and Family Development must be called.

What does reporting to police mean?

Reporting to police does not mean that you will go to court or that charges will be laid. These things might happen but not always.

When you report to police they will start to investigate the incident. They will ask you lots of questions because they need to get as much information as possible. The police will begin to collect samples which may be at the scene and/or from your visit to the hospital. Sample collection from your body is the job of the forensic nurse examiner (if you choose). The police might talk to witnesses or other people who may have seen or heard what happened.

How soon do I need to report to police?

If you choose to report to police, it is best to report as soon as possible, however, there is no time limit.

What if I don't feel safe?

Working with the police can give you some protection. They might be able to get a restraining order which orders someone to stay away from you. The police and the Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART) support worker can also help you with a safety plan for you (and your family).

Will I have to go to court?

Maybe. Many things have to happen in the legal system before you ever get to court.

After the police investigate, they must be able to prove three things:

  1. Occurrence that an assault or sexual assault happened
  2. Identify the accused person/people
  3. Consent was not given or it was withdrawn

The police might then give the evidence to Crown Counsel (the lawyers who represent the people of B.C.). It is the Crown Counsel who will decide if charges can be laid against the accused person/people. If this happens, you might be asked to go to court.

What does the Criminal Code say about sexual assault?

There are three levels of sexual assault in the Canadian Criminal Code:

Level 1: Sexual Assault (s.271):

  • Any form of unwanted sexual contact (without bodily harm).
  • No physical violence or threats of violence.

Level 2: Sexual Assault (s.272):

  • Has a weapon or threatens to use a weapon.
  • Threatens to cause bodily harm to a third party (i.e. your child, family, etc.)
  • Causes bodily harm to a third party.
  • Is a party to the offence with any other person.

Level 3: Aggravated Sexual Assault (s.272)

  • Use of a weapon causing injury, disfigurement or endangers the life of a person during sexual assault.
  • Injuries sustained by other means.

Find more information and resources about sexual assault, intentional violence and the law.


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