15 July 2020 14: 55
Updated at 15h29
Sexual assaults: more than 50% of the convictions in the cases criminalized
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL – The Director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) reaches out to victims of sexual assault so that they do not hesitate to file a complaint and argued that more than 50 % of the cases with a judicial background to lead to convictions.
Me Audrey Roy-Cloutier, attorney for the Crown in the Beauce region of québec, wishes to ensure that victims are aware of everything that is deployed to them.
Victims of sexual assault who file complaints will have many shoulders on which they will arise, she says, as well as of services of assistance and support.
I Roy-Cloutier explained in a telephone interview that as soon as a file arrives on his desk, as with the other Crown prosecutors – a meeting is held promptly with the victim, before filing charges.
During this meeting, the investigator is also present, as a representative of the CAVAC (Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminals) or a CALAC (assistance Centres and the fight against sexual assault and violence against women).
This meeting is timely made for several reasons, explained the lawyer who works with victims of sex crimes for over 13 years: to establish the relationship of trust, to show that the folder is taken seriously from the beginning and to offer all the assistance necessary.
The judicial process will then be explained to the victim, she said, to help make the best decisions for her.
“We recognize their immense courage,” she said. But we know that the unknown process can be scary and we want to show them that they are humans who are there, with a telephone number, and who can be contacted at any time if they have questions.”
The most recent wave of denunciations in Quebec to harassment and sexual assault has highlighted a reality: victims say they denounce on the social networks rather than to the police for several reasons, including: they do not trust the judicial system or did not want to relive their assault during a criminal trial.
I Roy-Cloutier is of the opinion that the system works, although it is not perfect.
It also reminds us that some things have been put in place to take the pressure off: orders of non-publication would prevent the name of the victim will not be unveiled, and they can sometimes testify by videoconference to not be in the same room as their abuser.
“We know for a fact that this is not easy, but we do what we can to make this less painful.”
And most importantly, she wants them to know that convictions for sexual assault, it is there.
“Good year, bad year, the statistics to which I have had access lately, we speak of an average conviction rate of more than 50 % – around 50 – 55 % of the cases with a judicial background.”
But other cases are not necessarily of the acquittals. There are, of course, but in the 45 % remaining, there are also situations in which the Crown withdrew the charges or the victim no longer wants to go forward.
I Roy-Cloutier also reminds us that a confidential telephone line has been established by the DPCP for victims who are reluctant or who don’t know what to do.
Before speaking to the police, they will have any kind of information in hand, and the legal process will be explained. And then, they will be directed to the need to support services.
The telephone line 1 877 547-DPCP (3727) is in operation from Monday to Friday from 8 h 30 to 12 h and from 13 h to 16 h 30.