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Domestic violence calls down, charges up in Peel

In recent years, Peel Regional Police have taken a "zero tolerance" approach to domestic violence, and Ontario has a provincial "mandatory charge" policy that requires officers to lay a charge if it is reasonable to think that a domestic violence offence has occurred. Consequently, in Brampton and Mississauga, the number of domestic violence charges has risen in the last few years while the number of police calls for domestic violence has declined.

These crisscrossing numbers are discussed in the 2013 Domestic Violence Report, which was recently released by Peel Regional Police. The Mississauga News has more on the specific numbers of domestic violence calls and arrests in recent years.

Media reports of domestic violence among athletes and celebrities have drawn more attention to the issue. Police in Peel Region also receive special training from the Family Violence Unit to respond to domestic violence calls. Given these developments, it is more likely now than in years past that an allegation of domestic violence will lead to an arrest.

However, identifying the "dominant aggressor" in a domestic dispute is not always a simple matter, and sometimes people who have done nothing illegal are charged with a crime. This situation can be particularly damaging to an individual involved in a child custody or other family law dispute.

An extensive defence investigation is often necessary to protect an accused individual from the negative consequences of a domestic violence charge. In any case, it is important for individuals accused of domestic abuse to seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.