I have a disability. If I call the police about abuse, what do I need to know?

1. Learn what can happen when you call the police

In an emergency, contact the police by calling 911 from anywhere in Ontario. If it isn't an emergency, call your local police station.

Talking to the 911 dispatcher

The 911 dispatcher will ask for some basic information about you and your family. They will try to keep you talking while a police car is sent to where you are. Tell the dispatcher if you or your children are hurt.

All calls to 911 are recorded. If the police charge someone with a criminal offence and the case goes to criminal court, what you say to the 911 operator will likely be used as evidence in court.

If you call 911 from home, the police have the legal right to enter your home. They can do this even if you tell them that you don't want them to, or that you have changed your mind.

Talking to the police

You can tell the police:

  • that you want to talk to them privately
  • exactly what happened, and whether you were assaulted, threatened, or suffered any other type of abuse
  • if the abuse has happened before
  • if any weapons were used, and whether there are other weapons in your home
  • if there are children or others who need help
  • if anybody saw or heard the incident or assault
  • if you don't feel safe

The police use this information to fill out an occurrence report. This report is a police summary of what happened. It has details such as what you and the abuser told them, and what the police saw.

You can ask the police to:

  • give you information that is in the occurrence report, including the occurrence or incident number
  • take photos of your injuries
  • help you leave, or to take you to a shelter
  • give you their names and badge numbers
  • contact Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario to give you support and help you deal with any safety concerns
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