IF THE SEXUAL ASSAULT JUST HAPPENED, OR YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911.
IF NOT, CALL THE MAIN TORONTO POLICE SERVICE PHONE NUMBER 416-808-2222 AND A UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICER WILL ATTEND YOUR LOCATION.
HERE'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
WHEN THE OFFICER ARRIVES:
WHEN THE SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATOR TAKES THE CASE
WHEN CHARGES HAVE BEEN LAID:
The Toronto Police Services is here to provide assistance and support. For further information on the community support resources available to you, sexual assault investigations, possible outcomes and the criminal court process visit our Guide for Survivors of Sexual Assault, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Along the bottom you will see quick exit instructions. If at any time you feel you are in danger please call 911.
In Canada, there is no statute of limitation for sexual offences, which means you can report to police no matter how long ago it happened, and if appropriate sexual assault charges can be laid.
If the Sexual Assault occurred in your distant past or if you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it is commonly referred to as a “historical sexual assault”. If you choose to report this to police, for your convenience, you may do so at the police department closest to you, regardless of where the incident occurred. Your report will be assigned to the division where the sexual assault took place and you will be contacted by the officer assigned to your case.
Will I be arrested if the police find out? Anyone can be sexually assaulted at anytime, anywhere, by anyone. This means a sex trade worker can be sexually assaulted by a client. Any sexual contact that was not consensually agreed to is a sexual assault. If you are victimized during your work in the sex trade you will not be arrested.
There may be certain circumstances where an officer may be legally required to ask you about your immigration status.
These circumstances are:
Your immigration status will not be affected by reporting to the police.
The Toronto Police Service is accessible in many ways to people with disabilities. The Service’s website is compliant with the provincial Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. When a person calls the Toronto Police Service, language translation services are available and a TTY system for those with hearing loss is in place.
If, in the course of a domestic violence investigation, it’s determined that a sexual assault has been committed and reasonable grounds are established to lay charges, the police shall proceed with charges regardless of the victim’s wishes. This occurs because there is a Provincial mandate that directs all Police Officers in Ontario to proceed with charges specifically related to domestic violence. Officers will explain to the victim and the offender that it is the duty of the police to lay a charge where there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed. They will also explain that only a Crown Attorney can withdraw the charge.
Domestic violence is any use of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in an intimate relationship (current and former). It also includes emotional /psychological abuse or harassing behaviour. Although both women and men can be victims of domestic violence the overwhelming majority of this violence involves men abusing women. Intimate relationships include those between the opposite sex and same-sex partners. These relationships vary in duration and legal formality and include current and former dating, common-law and married couples.
The Toronto Police Service is here to help you because it’s the law and no group should feel like the police will not protect them. We have trained our members in order to provide policing services that are sensitive to the needs of your community.
We have done our best to include LGBTQ2S-friendly organizations under the Community Resources section of this website. You can also contact our LGBTQ Liaison Officer, Constable Danielle Bottineau, at 416-808- 7268, for information.
If you are Trans, you can review our Guide to Police Service in Toronto – Dedicated to the Trans Communities of Toronto.
If the sexual assault just happened, or you are in immediate danger, call 911.
If it did not just happen, then call the main Toronto Police phone number, 416-808-2222 and a uniformed officer will attend your location.
Once dispatched to a sexual assault, the uniformed officer will:
Victim Services Toronto is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to helping survivors of crime. They provide responsive, accessible, and accountable programs and services. They focus on restoring and enhancing the survivor’s quality of life and preventing re-victimization.
There is immediate on-site support and crisis intervention, operating 24/7. They will connect you to agencies and resources in your local community for counselling, advocacy, violence prevention, safety services and outreach.
All sexual assault cases are investigated by police officers who are specifically trained in the area of sexual assault investigations. The training that sexual assault investigators receive is focused on creating a consistent and thorough investigation into sexual assault cases, while respecting the needs of victims and witnesses. The training is designed to enhance investigations of sexual assault by promoting best practices, in addition to victim sensitivity. A trained sexual assault investigator will be assigned to your case.
Assignment of sexual assault cases in Toronto are done on a risk-based assessment. This means:
The trained sexual assault investigator assigned to your case will:
Although evidence is not absolutely necessary in a prosecution, it greatly assists the police with their investigation. Evidence is very important in any investigation; therefore, the collection of evidence in a timely manner should be considered. The likelihood of collecting evidence diminishes when reporting is delayed. Evidence is not just limited to biological specimens, but also includes video, statements, cell phone and social media content, and other documentation.
During the investigation you may be asked detailed questions. These questions are used to assist the investigator in the collection of evidence and not to judge or blame you for what happened, what happened is never your fault.
Your privacy is very important to us. When a sexual assault is reported to the police, a review of all the information is done to determine if a news release is required. Generally a news release is issued if:
General information about the sexual assault, including the date, time, and location of the assault, will be included in the news release. The news release will include the gender and age of the survivor. The news release will also include a description of the person alleged to be responsible, if that person is not yet known, or it will include the name and age if the person has been identified.Your name will never be released to the media.
Unsolved sexual assault cases are never closed; they remain active. If additional information is received, further investigation will be done, which may lead to an arrest.
It is the role of the police to lay charges if there is enough evidence to support the investigation. Sometimes the police will decide not to lay a charge. This does not mean that they do not believe you or that the sexual assault did not happen. It may mean that there is not enough evidence to prove a criminal charge in court. If this does occur, the investigator can explain why this happened in your case. The investigator can tell you of civil options available to you (some can be found on our community resources page.
This Project has been made possible by a grant from the Government of Ontario
For the purpose of this website, the Toronto Police Service has used “survivor” as an umbrella term to refer to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. However, we support a person’s right to choose how they wish to be identified. It is also important to note, this is not legal advice. Every effort is made to provide precise information, however your rights and a police officer’s responsibilities depend on the situation. If, at any time, you're unsure of your rights you can ask the police officer. They are required to tell you. The Toronto Police Service bears no responsibility for information on other websites. While we strive to maintain accurate and survivor-focused resources, it cannot be guaranteed. This project has been made possible by a grant from the Government of Ontario.