(Closed) Will I be forced to press charges?

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1253 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

In general terms it is up to the police/prosecutors whether to lay charges in Canada. The victim makes a complaint and then police decide if it looks like the elements of the offence are met enough to lay charges. There is no statue of limitations on assault in Canada I don’t think but with crimes that are 2 years old there will inevitably be issues with memory/ease of getting evidence etc.


With regards to talking to a counsellor about this, if it was a psychologist then would it be privileged? I know they might have to report if someone is in imminent danger/about to commit a crime but if it is in the past and there is no imminent danger would they? Any psychs here?

Post # 4
1552 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Hmm… i dont think councellors can do that… but you would ask your him/her not to press charges regardless.

But how’s everything now? Are you still living with your family, why did they act like that?

Post # 6
4313 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your discussion would be privileged. But, read the disclosure fully before getting into details.

Post # 8
1481 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@akirasan:  Seeing as how your parent(s?) and brother were previously abusive towards you – mentally, physically, emotionally are ALL ABUSE – I would NOT move in with them ever. IDC if you could save millions, billions, etc of dollars YOU SHOULD NOT PUT YOURSELF IN THAT SITUATION. Please, please do not move in with them.


In regards to talking to a professional about your issues I suggest researching priviledged information in Canada, because in the US like a PP said, unless it is an imminent threat or you are about to commit a crime they are required by law to keep it to themselves unless specifically asked by you to do so.

Post # 10
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@akirasan:  I work for the police in BC so things may be a little different in Ontario.  The first thing it’s going to come down to is whether your therapist’s professional organization has a duty to report historical child abuse.  But you could ask that before you disclose any specifics.


Then, in BC at least any “domestic” event (spousal, child, interfamilial) requires police investigation and if it seems founded in the first event the police are required to arrest and hold the accused over night and submit a report to crown counsel while they’re in custody.  The Crown counsel then decides if there’s a likelihood of conviction in court (uncooperative victims would be a big part in this determination) and can decide to proceed with charges, or potentially charge and then stay the proceedings.  I believe that particular procedure is a provincial legislation though, so you’d have to research Ontario specifically.


Post # 12
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@akirasan:  I am a counselling psychology grad student, though I do not claim to be an expert. Because you are no longer a minor, and may not be in imminent danger from your father or brother at present (it sounds like it was a one-time thing, or is the violence still occurring?), there is really no reason or rationale to break confidentiality.

When it comes to working with adults, it is generally left up to the client to decide when and if they report violence to the police. And unfortunately, many people that I work with experienced some sort of violence and abuse when they were minors, often at the hands of people they still have a relationship with. While I can’t speak for all professionals, many will have experience talking about these kinds of issues with clients and will hopefully not react in a way that you are uncomfortable with.

With that being said, you are entitled to seek out and build a relationship with someone you feel safe discussing sensitive issues with, and in my opinion, can choose to share only what you are comfortable with at a given time.

Good luck and take care!

Post # 13
741 posts
Busy bee

@akirasan:  Hello! I am sorry that you are in this situation. I am not sure if it is different in Toronto, but I can tell you what it’s like in California.

Basically, psychologists and counselors are mandated reporters, meaning that they have to report to Child Protectice Services (CPS) – NOT the police. We only report to the police in a case in which a patient has an identified target that they are planning on killing or seriously injuring. In cases of childhood abuse, it is CPS who takes the mandated report and then they can either open a case (if there is imminent danger), or not. It is hard to predict what they will do, but it is not likely that they would open an investigation (again, through CPS, NOT the police), if the alleged abuser is currently around children.

Many times people who go to therapy realize this and don’t mention specific incidents that caused physical harm, but still talk about conflicting dynamics within the family and the impact of these. Emotional abuse is not typically reportable (unless you are dealing with extreme neglect).

Hope this makes sense and helps out!

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