I was the victim of a crime involving gender-based violence. What can I do?

In an emergency, call 911. If you're experiencing violence and need support, visit this Ontario webpage.

Crimes involving gender-based violence are crimes committed against someone because of their gender. Gender identity is your internal and individual experience that can include you being a woman, a man, both, or something else.

Gender-based crimes include violent offences, such as assault and sexual assault. They also include offences that involve controlling or manipulative behaviour, such as criminal harassment.

Anyone can be the victim of a crime involving gender-based violence, but girls, women, and gender-diverse people face a higher risk of gender-based crime.

If you're a victim of a crime involving gender-based violence, there are services and supports that can help you. Community resources include shelters, helplines, crisis centres, and other organizations. They can help you with:

  • safe temporary housing
  • counselling
  • safety planning
  • income assistance
  • childcare or pet care

There are also organizations that can give you legal advice for free or at a low cost. You might want legal advice before you decide to go to the police, apply for a , or take some other action.

A private prosecution is a process where you apply to the court to lay criminal charges against someone you believe committed a crime. Your belief must be based on reliable information. Usually, it is the police that lay the charges. But if the police decide not to lay charges or don't get involved at all, you can ask the court to lay the charges.

CLEO's Guided Pathway for Private Prosecutions can help you learn more about private prosecutions for certain crimes involving gender-based violence.

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