What should I do if I am in immediate danger?
If you are afraid of your spouse and think you or your children are in immediate danger, call the police right away or dial 911.
In British Columbia, it is a crime for anyone – including your spouse – to assault you or your children, or to harass or stalk you, to threaten you with bodily harm or to damage your property.
You have the right to feel safe and to expect help from the police.
Once the police have talked to you, they will decide if there is enough evidence to prove your spouse has committed a crime.
- If there is enough evidence, the police will consider arresting your spouse and ask the Crown counsel (a lawyer employed by the government) to lay a criminal charge. If the Crown approves the charge, your spouse will have to go to court.
- If there is not enough evidence, or if the Crown decides it is not in the public interest to proceed with charges, the police may apply for a peace bond (also called an “810 recognizance”) to protect you from your spouse, or they may recommend you apply for a protection order.
The police may:
- Refer you to the victim services directory or VictimLinkBC.
- Take you to a transition house or safe home in your area, if there is one. Or you can ask them take you to another safe place – such as the home of a relative or a friend.