On November the 16th, Home Front released a map of the City of Calgary that revealed that every quadrant of the City experienced reports of domestic violence. The point of this campaign was to draw attention to the fact that complaints of domestic violence were not just a problem associated with poverty and unemployment. Like addiction and alcoholism, domestic violence can be present amongst the middle class and the wealthy communities.
The reality is, that whether the complaint of violence within a family in lower income neighbourhood, or in the tonier homes of the most affluent neighbourhoods, charges are laid, and court appearances are set into Calgary Court Centre Domestic Violence Courtroom. This courtroom is located in 508 in the Calgary Court Centre, and has a team of participants who provide the prosecutors of the circumstances of the victims, the accused and other family members.
Home Front is a non-profit organization that has funding from the Provincial Government and charitable organizations, and has the responsibility of providing information to victims (otherwise referred to as “complainants). Home Front provides liason communications between the victims and the Crown, and support services.
Additionally, the Calgary Police Service has a domestic violence unit that maintains resource officers to advise the domestic violence prosecutors, and to do follow-up investigations on behalf of the prosecutors.
This illustrates the serious manner that the Calgary Crown Prosecutors’ Office treats domestic violence and the resources that are dedicated to dealing with domestic violence prosecutions.
In the 1990’s, the Alberta Court of Appeal gave statements of law that the sentencing of accused convicted of domestic violence should be treated as having breached the trust of the family member. It bears noting that the Court of Appeal indicated that domestic violence cases usually involve the wife or female spouse in a common law relationship. Sentences were supposed to reflect the dangers faced by the domestic violence victims, and that the courts should not shy away from imprisoning offenders.
A charge of assault in domestic violence circumstances is therefore a very serious and life altering event, and retaining a experienced knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer is a priority in the circumstances. An accused needs to get advice and counsel as soon as possible in order to avoid the many problems that arise from a domestic violence charge.