Last month, the Halton Regional Police Service received an early morning 9-1-1 call from an individual reporting that a man was assaulting a woman in a home, and that help was urgently needed.
Officers arrived at the residence. Nothing could be seen or heard from the house which was in total darkness. Officers gained entry to the house and soon located a male, as well as his common-law partner who had multiple red marks and bruising on her upper body.
Officers learned that the man had been drinking for several hours during the evening. Two children in the home reported hearing slapping, yelling and loud noises throughout the remainder of the night until police intervened.
The man was arrested soon after and subsequently transported to Central Lock Up. Thereafter, the Halton Regional Police Service Intimate Partner Violence Unit took over the investigation. The accused was charged with Assault, Assault Causing Bodily Harm (Choking), and Forcible Confinement.
The woman was admitted to hospital for her injuries and was referred to the Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit.
The Victim Services Unit connects victims to appropriate support services in the community, assists with victim care, and, through the Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP+), can provide immediate short-term financial support toward essential expenses for victims of violent crime.
Last month, Halton Police fielded 343 calls regarding intimate partner violence (IPV), compared with 279 calls in January 2020. In the same time period, HPS made 83 IPV arrests, compared with 51 IPV arrests in January 2020. A total of 206 IPV-related charges were laid in January 2021, compared with 85 IPV-related charges in January 2020 (an increase of 142 per cent).
Domestic violence in increase
Halton Police analysis indicate that this is a continuation of a trend of an increasing frequency and severity of intimate partner violence incidents in the community over the course of the pandemic. If this trend continues, HPS officers will attend more than 4,000 intimate partner violence incidents by the end of this year. What is particularly concerning is the recognition that all forms of family violence are under-reported.
Halton Police are urging residents to look out for neighbours, relatives, friends, and co-workers, especially if it is suspected they may not be safe at home. Victims or friends/family of victims are urged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Women’s Place or other community resources if intimate partner violence is happening. Shelters across Halton are still open at this time and Halton Women’s Place continues to offer services. Shelters have taken precautions related to COVID-19 to ensure that no one is forced to choose between their safety and their health. Help is available.