Domestic Violence measures the number of EPS-reported occurrences, either criminal or non-criminal, that have a violence or abuse component among intimate partners. Domestic violence may include a single act of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, or a number of acts forming a pattern of abuse through the use of controlling behavior.
The Criminal Justice system's response to domestic violence has progressed over the years (see the 2014 Alberta Justice Domestic Violence Handbook). Notable advancements began with the establishment of the Office For the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Alberta in 1984 and Alberta Justice's introduction of Prosecutor Guidelines in 2008 and Police Guidelines in 2009. These changes have come to EPS and refined our policy & procedures to better classify, track, and manage these occurrences of domestic violence.
There are a number of reasons why a domestic violence occurrence will be classified as non-criminal rather than criminal, including:
- Victims recant their statement, and there is insufficient evidence otherwise for EPS to pursue a criminal charge.
- EPS proactively responds to family-dispute calls where a criminal-act has not yet occurred, but EPS intelligence shows that there is a heightened risk of domestic violence occurring.
Addressing domestic violence is a priority of the Edmonton Police Service, with EPS being proactive in its management of domestic violence offenders, and its outreach to victims. These activities aim to reduce and eliminate re-victimization. A major component of this work is completed by EPS’s Domestic Offender Crimes Section that includes:
- Detectives with specialized training in intimate partner violence
- Constable and Social Worker teams to work with victims of intimate partner violence, including assistance in courtrooms
- Victim Support Constables in each EPS division that follow up on domestic violence incidents
Reporting Domestic Violence
To talk confidentially with a social worker call the City of Edmonton Assessment and Short-term Counseling at 780-496-4777.
For information on resources in Edmonton and across the province call 310-1818 (toll free) for the Family Violence Info Line. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in 170 languages.