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How To File A Report With The Police

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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 filePDF 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.

Front cover of the You Choose What To Do Next: Navigating the Criminal Legal System Guide. Illustration of character posing in front of a blue background with clouds.

You Choose What To Do Next: Navigating the Criminal Legal System Guide

This trauma-informed guide was created to support people affected by sexual violence in understanding how the criminal legal system works – from the reporting, to after the court process is over, and everything in between. Created in collaboration with survivors, legal experts, student leaders and frontline workers, the Navigating the Criminal Legal System guide is packed with legal information, self-care ideas and advice from survivors. We hope that it will help you make informed decisions throughout the legal process.

PDF Link to the guide: PDF fileYou Choose What To Do Next: Navigating the Criminal Legal System Guide

Front cover of the You Choose What to Do Next: Publication Bans Guide. Illustration of character posing in front of a blue background with clouds.

You Choose What to Do Next: Understanding Publication Bans in Criminal Proceedings Involving Sexual Offences Guide

This tip sheet was created to provide an overview of publication bans – a court order set out in section 486.4 of the Criminal Code that allows survivors to have their identities covered when going through the criminal court process for sexual offences. Created for Consent Comes First by feminist lawyers Pamela Cross and Megan Stephens in consultation with survivors, legal experts, student leaders and frontline workers. We hope this guide will support survivors by providing accessible information on how publication bans work so that they are able to make informed decisions on how and when they want their identity covered when navigating the criminal legal system.

PDF link to the guide: PDF fileYou Choose What to Do Next: Understanding Publication Bans in Criminal Proceedings Involving Sexual Offences Guide

Other Resources for more Information