Violence Against Women

The Ottawa Police Service remains committed to helping those victims or survivors of sexual assault or abuse get the help they need.

On top of developing its own in-house Sexual Assault Response Officer (SARO) course that trains officers on the best way to respond consistently to cases of sexual assault and provide the needed supports, it has been extended beyond OPS and to our partners at Ottawa City By-Law and OC Transpo. In 2019, 70 OPS officers were trained on SARO, along with several external partners.

In 2018, new Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Review Committees were set up, similarly to the Philadelphia model, to allow frontline partners the ability to review closed files where charges were not laid. In 2019, these committees met several times during the year to go over these files and provide both transparency of response and action for the OPS.

Additionally, Violence Against Women (VAW) outreach and initiatives at OPS welcomed Inspector Jim Elves as its new coordinator. Insp. Elves met with frontline partners, conducted media interviews, and leveraged social media to get the message out that supports are available. He also sat on the VAW Community Police Advisory Committee as co-chair with the Ottawa Coalition To End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)’s Erin Leigh, working with frontline agencies in Ottawa to address issues related to systemic violence against women and find solutions.