How To File A Report With The Police
It is always your choice whether or not you report the crime to the police.
Reports can be made to the police in an effort to pursue criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.
It is not guaranteed that the perpetrator will face charges or be found guilty, even when you know they are.
If you report the assault, the police will take your statement, investigate the matter and determine if there is enough evidence to lay charges. The police and the Crown will require your participation in what can become a public process. If the matter proceeds to court, you will likely be called to testify.
The court process can seem daunting. We will provide you with resources that can support you during the process including:
- Toronto Police Services - (PDF file) PDF fileA guide for sexual assault survivors, external link, opens in new window (external link)
- Sexual Assault: First Steps in the Criminal Process, external link, opens in new window (external link)
- Sexual Assault: The Criminal Trial (external link)
- A lawyer can give you specific advice, and can explain your legal options to address sexual violence.
- Depending on where you live, and whether you qualify, you may be able to speak to a lawyer for free, or at a discount, through Legal Aid, a community legal clinic, or a women’s organization.
- There are a number of legal clinics in Canada, such as the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, external link, external link (external link) , that can provide you with information on your options.
- Civil sexual assault lawyers are lawyers who focus on survivors of childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual assault. You would obtain this type of legal counsel for the purpose of financial compensation. Toronto Police Services will not recommend a specific lawyer. If the accused is found not guilty in the criminal court process, you can still proceed with a civil lawyer for financial compensation. To locate a civil sexual assault lawyer:
The Law Society of Upper Canada - Lawyer Referral Service,, external link, opens in new window (external link) 416-947-3330 or 1-800-268-8326 (toll free)
Ontario Trial Lawyers Association,, external link, opens in new window (external link) 905-639-6852 or 1-800-567-3047 (toll free)
You Choose What to do Next Guides
You Choose What To Do Next are trauma-informed accessible legal information resources created by Consent Comes First in collaboration with community partners for people affected by sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence.