If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911 or, if 911 service is not yet available in your community, call your local RCMP detachment or police department. For a list of RCMP detachments in Manitoba, please visit the RCMP website.
If you want to report past abuse please contact you local law enforcement (Winnipeg police or Manitoba RCMP, Municipal police force, Military police or Band Constable). Please note your (ex) partner may be charged with a criminal offence. Charges must be laid when there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe the assault has taken place, even if there are no witnesses to the abuse other than the victim. The police, not the victim, are responsible for laying charges after an offence has been reported.
If you are in crisis, you can also access the 24-hour Toll free Province Wide Domestic Abuse Crisis line at 1-877-977-0007.
If your partner has been arrested for domestic violence, you may be assigned a Manitoba Justice Victim Services Support Worker. The can assist by informing you of the criminal court process and offer referrals and resources.
What happens after the police are called?
The police can help the victim leave the home and get medical attention. If an abuse victim and their children need a place to stay, a shelter may be available in their community. For a list of shelters and community resources for victims of family violence, visit the Resources section of this website.
Once an abusing spouse or partner has been charged, the case will proceed in criminal court. If the alleged abuser pleads not guilty, the victim will ordinarily be required to be a witness for the Crown. In criminal prosecutions by the Crown, only the Crown can stop the proceedings once charges have been laid.
In Winnipeg, a special family violence court handles spousal or partner abuse prosecutions, physical and sexual abuse of children and elder abuse. This court is designed to deal sensitively with abuse prosecutions. The judges and Crown attorneys who appear in this court are particularly aware of the community resources available for both victims and offenders.
How can a criminal charge affect family law proceedings? Will intimate partner violence in a family be considered when determining parenting arrangements and custody?
Criminal law is intended to stop crimes or offences from being committed and punish offenders. Usually, the police lay charges and a Crown attorney will prosecute the case in court. Assault is a crime and should be addressed through the criminal court system.
Under criminal law, once someone is arrested and charged with abusing their spouse or partner, the court can impose conditions on the alleged abuser, until the charge is dealt with in court. The conditions may include no contact or communication with the victim or forbidding the alleged abuser from using alcohol or drugs, etc.
These conditions may impact a family law matter. If your (ex) partner has been charged with a crime for assaulting you or your children, please contact Manitoba Justice Victim Services at 204-945-6851 or 1-866-484-2846 to speak with your assigned victim services worker.
One of the criteria that a court must consider is the presence of any family violence and its impact on the ability and willingness of any person engaged in the family violence to care for and meet the needs of the child.
What happens after an abuser is convicted?
If an abuser is convicted, the judge will determine the sentence, looking at issues such as the seriousness of the crime and the abuser’s previous criminal record. For example, the judge may order the abuser to attend counselling, may require them to keep away from the victim or may imprison the abuser.
What is a peace bond?
As well as the protective orders described in the Protection Orders section, those who fear further contact with their abusive spouses or partners may apply for the abuser to enter into a recognizance, also known as a peace bond. This order forbids one person to harass others and is similar to a civil order of protection, except that it is handled in criminal court. If the abuser fails or refuses to enter into the peace bond, they can be imprisoned for up to 12 months. It is also available to people other than spouses and common-law partners.
An application for a peace bond can be made at the nearest Provincial Court office. A peace bond is issued if the other person consents to a bond or a judge orders it after a hearing. The peace bond may include conditions such as no personal or telephone contact. A bond remains in effect for up to one year and a party who does not abide by its terms can face criminal charges.
How can Manitoba Justice Victim Services help?
Victim Services helps:
- victims of the most serious crimes as, outlined in The Victims‘ Bill of Rights
- victims of domestic violence
- child victims and witnesses
- victims of all crimes, as outlined in the Canadian Victims’ Bill of Rights
The Domestic Violence Support Service provides support and information to victims of intimate-partner violence by:
- creating a safe, supportive environment to talk about the situation
- providing information about the criminal charges and the court process
- explaining the roles of those involved in the criminal justice system
- discussing safety planning and creating a protection plan to improve safety
- explaining how to get protective relief orders
- offering on-going emotional support and short-term counselling
- explaining the dynamics of domestic violence
- offering support throughout the court process
- preparing victims and going to court with them, when possible
- advising Crown attorneys of concerns that victims may have about court cases
- connecting families to appropriate community resources through referral, advocacy and coordination of community resources
How can I contact Victim Services Branch?
The Victim Services Branch of Manitoba Justice can help victims through a case and help refer them to additional services. Contact:
(Portage la Prairie) 204-239-3378
South Central Region
(The Pas) 204-627-8483
To find out more about Victim Services visit the Manitoba Justice website