Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV), also known as spousal or domestic violence, is a prevalent form of gender-based violence (GBV). It refers to multiple forms of harm caused by a current or former intimate partner or spouse.


Assaulted Women's Helpline


TTY 1-866-863-7868

Bethesda House


The Denise House


Herizon House


Muslim Welfare Home


Y's Wish Shelter



Distress Centre Durham


Durham Mental Health


Durham Rape Crisis Centre


Kids Help Phone 


Senior Safety Line 


SafeHope Home Oshawa
(Human Trafficking) 


Durham Rape Crisis Centre


Durham Sexual Assault Care Centre

905-576-8711 ext. 3286

Services offered in French



Intimate Partner Violence Unit

905-579-1520 ext 5390

Sexual Assault & Child Abuse Unit

905-579-1520 ext. 5318


Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Care Centre

705-576-8711 ext. 3286

Durham Mental Health Services/Mobile Services

905-666-0483 or 1-800-742-1890

Telehealth Ontario  




Catholic Family Services

905-725-3513 or 1-877-282-8932

Durham Children's Aid Society

905-433-1551 or 1-800-461-8140

Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services


Durham Safety Network


Family Services Durham 


Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health

905-430-4055 or 1-800-263-2679

Lukes Place – Family Law Information and Safety Help


The Nourish and Develop Foundation


Women's Multicultural Resource & Counselling Centre

905-427-7849 or 1-877-454-4035

Victim Witness Assistance Program


Victim Services Durham Region

905-721-4226 or 1-888-579-1520


MMIWG - Support Line - 1-844-413-6649

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis Line is available to provide emotional support and crisis referral services to individuals impacted by the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Talk 4 Healing - 1-855-554-HEAL (4325)

A culturally grounded, toll free, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages all across Ontario. (Call, Text, and live chat available)

Hope for Wellness - 1-855-242-3310

Toll free number can be called, or online chat can be accessed at The Hope for Wellness Helpline is available to all Indigenous people across Canada. Experienced and culturally competent counsellors are reachable by telephone and online chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle (BACC)

Aboriginal-led incorporated non-profit agency in the Durham Region that develops and delivers cultural programs and services that address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of Aboriginal people of all ages.

Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag

Offers counselling and healing services for Indigenous women. NASC is dedicated to the development and deliver of healing services for Indigenous women and their families who have experienced abuse or violence, or at risk of. Therapeutic healing work is conducted through the use of Anishnaabe practices, blended with community centered methods of healing.

NOOJIMO HEALTH Canada's first all-Indigenous virtual mental wellness clinic

Call 1-833-970-3030 to book an appointment or visit our online appointment booking system available at; provides up to 22hrs annually with direct billing to NIHB for those with status.

Noojimo is an all-Indigenous circle of clinicians from a range of First Nation communities across Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. We have come together to help Indigenous people on Turtle Island.

Ontario Native Women’s Association (Toronto)

Provides support for Youth in Transition, Health and Wellness program and Indigenous women’s “Breaking Free from Family Violence” program. All Toronto based.

Native Women’s Resources Centre of Toronto

Housing Supports, Family Support and Healthy Children program.

Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Circles

OFIFC programs are delivered by Friendship Centres and other local organizations, creating the largest urban Indigenous program and service delivery network in Ontario.

Programs are culturally relevant, trauma informed and delivered in safe and accessible environments. Friendship Centres are Indigenous community hubs that provide a place for Indigenous people to gather and access a range of services including Children and Youth, Education, Employment, Health, Healing and Wellness, Homelessness and Justice programming.

Native Child and Family Services Toronto

Child protection agency, parenting programs, pre and post natal programming, Native Youth Resource Centre, Individual and Family Therapy and Case Management. Women’s Empowerment Circle, PAR program (those before the courts due to domestic abuse), Here to Help for families who have experienced domestic violence. Journey of the Peaceful Warrior – for men wishing to gain control of their lives and develop healthy relationships.


Recognizing the Signs of Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate relationships between the opposite sex or same sex partners can vary in duration and legal description, but generally includes current and former dating partners, common-law partners or married couples.

Intimate partner violence refers to acts of physical, sexual and psychological maltreatment in which one person controls or intends to control another person's behaviour.

The misuse of power and control is usually involved and often results in some type of harm to the those involved.

The following checklist includes behaviours that may help you decide if you or someone you know is being abused:


  • Calls you names, puts you down, criticizes or humiliates you
  • Makes it difficult for you to go out or visit family and friends
  • Behaves in an overprotective way or becomes extremely jealous


  • Denies access to assets like bank accounts or credit cards
  • Forces you to account for what you've spent or takes your money
  • Prevents you from getting or keeping a job or education 


  • Threatens to report you for something you didn't do
  • Threatens to harm or kidnap the children
  • Threatens you with weapons to promote fear 


  • Destroys property or throws things around
  • Grabs, pushes, hits, punches, slaps, kicks, chokes or bites
  • Forces you to engage in sexual activities that you don't want to do
  • Carries out threats to hurt you, your family, your pets or him/her self


  • Abuse is not your fault even though your abuser will say it is
  • You are NOT responsible for the actions of others, including your partner
  • Every person has the right to a safe and violence free life
  • Calling the police is a positive step forward to prevent further violence

Calm Phase:

Things are neutral, maybe even peaceful again. Promises are being made for the future and the victim wants to believe things are going to be different.

Tension Building:

Tension begins to increase, poor communication, the individual may feel like they need to walk on eggshells to avoid explosive stage.

Incident of Abuse (Explosive Stage):

Verbal (name calling, yelling, threatening, belittling) and/or Emotional (lying, gas lighting, manipulating), and/or Physical Violence (shoving, throwing things at or near you, slapping, punching) and/or Sexual Violence (un-consensual touch, un-consensual intercourse, coercion or pressure to engage in sexual act)

Reconciliation Phase:

The partner may apologize but will make excuses or justify their actions “you provoked me”, deny that things happened the way the victim remembers, blame other people or things (i.e. substances, mental health, family or friends)

Each time this cycle occurs, it becomes more unpredictable and dangerous. The calm phase becomes shorter and may disappear altogether.

If an incident of abuse occurs, reach out to someone for support.

Reporting IPV

When you are being abused it is important to remember help is available 24-7, 365 days per year. When you call 9-1-1, police will intervene.

When an incident is reported, officers will investigate and a report will be filed. The officer in charge determines if a crime has occurred and if an arrest is required. Make sure you obtain your report number and the officer's name and badge number.

Report resulting in no charges:
If the responding officers do not form reasonable grounds that a criminal offence has occurred, the incident will be documented but no charges will be laid by police. You may receive follow up from Victim Services offering support and referrals. You can also contact Victim Services directly at I-888-579-1520 ext. 3400.

Victim Services
Victim Services of Durham Region, a community based, not-for-profit program funded by the Government of Ontario, recognizes the importance of all victims, witnesses and their families being treated with compassion, respect and having access to the services that they need, when they need it most.

Working in partnership with the Durham Regional Police Service since 1998, Victim Services of Durham Region currently offers the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario Program. The Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario Program provides support to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstance that is victim-centered and culturally competent. It is important to note that you can contact VSDR for support at any time, there is no requirement to involve police to receive confidential support from Victim Services. 

More information and their website:

Peace Bond
A peace bond is a protection order made by a court under section 810 of the Criminal Code. It is used where an individual (the defendant) appears likely to commit a criminal offence, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has actually been committed.

In these situations, a person can obtain a peace bond against the defendant from the Court. The Court may impose specific conditions that are designed to prevent the defendant from committing harm to the person, their spouse or common-law partner, their child, or from committing damage their property.

Where the Court accepts the application for the peace bond, the defendant must obey the conditions of the peace bond or else he or she may face criminal charges. Peace bonds can be enforced anywhere in Canada and can be in place for up to one year. If the threat persists after one year, the peace bond can be renewed by application to the Court.

Obtaining a peace bond may take several weeks or even months, so peace bonds do not deal with emergencies. In an emergency, call 911.

More information:

In the event of an arrest:
If the responding officers form reasonable grounds that an offence has occurred and the accused is on scene, the accused will be arrested and charged.

• If the accused is not present, attempts will be made to locate and arrest the accused. If the accused cannot be found, a warrant for their arrest will be obtained. The victim will be advised by police when the accused has been arrested.
• The accused will be taken into custody and a determination made regarding release conditions. The accused may be released on a PTA/OIC or held for a Bail Hearing.

Appearance notice with or without conditions:

The accused is given a court date to attend to and released on conditions to 'prevent the continuation of the incident. A member of Victim Services will contact the victim shortly after the incident to review the release conditions, offer safety planning, support and referrals.

Bail Hearing: In cases where the accused has been held in custody for a bail hearing, a member from the Domestic Violence Bail Safety Program (open 7am to 5pm daily) will contact the victim shortly after the incident. The Bail Safety Program consists of police officers working in partnership with the Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP). They will ensure that the victim has an opportunity to discuss their concerns end what they would like to see happen. They will provide information about the court process, safety planning and community referrals. Victims are encouraged to contact this team at 905-743-2797.

The Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) can accept clients once charges are laid. They provide information, assistance and support to victims and witnesses of crime to increase their understanding of, and participation in the criminal court process. The services are free of charge. The program helps victims and witnesses of violent crime, including domestic violence, sexual assault, physical or sexual child assault, hate crimes and the families of homicide victims. VWAP can be reached at 905-743-2790. 

When charges have been laid, it is extremely important that all victims and witnesses keep police and the Crown Attorney's office up to date on any new contact information. Please call DRPS at 1-888-579-1520 and the Crown Attorney's Office at 905-743-2700.

Procedure for reporting a breach 

The Criminal Code of Canada states that any person who violates or assists anyone in committing a violation of a condition of any release, may be charged with a criminal offence.

• Contact DRPS immediately by phone or attend a local station.
• Supply any relevant information and documentation.
• An officer will investigate to determine if a criminal offence has occurred.

Safety Planning

Preparing in advance for the possibility of future violence is important, whether you choose to remain in the home or leave. Making a safety plan involves identifying actions to increase you and your children's safety. Victim Services can assist you in creating a personal safety plan. Please contact a team member at 905-721-4226.

Some general safety tips include:

  • Trust your instincts. Be vigilant at all times.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and create new routines that are not predictable.
  • Try not to be alone.
  • Carry a charged cell phone. Even if you don't have minutes or a plan your phone will still be able to call 9-1-1.
  • Change/add locks on doors and windows, add a peephole, install an alarm, keep outside lights on at all times.
  • Screen telephone calls.
  • Teach your children to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • Tell someone you trust about what is going on. Family, friends and co-workers can help to protect you.
  • Keep copies of important documents, money, keys, prescriptions and clothes at a safe place in the event you need to flee your home.
  • Become familiar with the services of your local shelter.

Statistics in 2022

Incidents flagged "Domestic related"

This could be any Domestic Related incident that officers respond to.  These could be determined by the responding officers to be Founded or Unfounded.

Incidents flagged "founded" Domestic related

This statistic would be reflective of Domestic Related calls for service that could include any incident that had a domestic aspect to it but does not necessarily include a criminal offence.

Violent Domestic Incidents

This reflects reports that indicate a violence offence had occurred.

Criminal Charges Laid

Criminal Charges Laid related to Intimate Partner Violence.

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