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Procedures 

Abroad

Please make sure to read all the steps and follow the order suggested, wherever possible. 

1. Report the assault as soon as possible to the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. 

Refer to the directory of the Canadian government to find the contact information of the government offices offering services abroad, or communicate directly with the emergency response and monitoring centre of the Canadian government.

Note that the consulate staff is to ensure your physical and psychological safety. They can therefore support you throughout the process, and help you find support to deal with the emotional, social, medical and legal consequences of the assault. They can also help you get emergency medical care, advise you on the local laws and regulations, put you in contact with loved ones, inform you of the procedure to follow in order to get emergency financial assistance, and ensure liaison with the local authorities. 

RECOMMENDATION : Even when non-official authorities, such as a hotel management or a tour operator, have the best of intentions, they don't hold any legal power; that's why the consular staff and the local police are the right entities to reach out to.

2. After contacting the consular staff, communicate with the local authorities

to report your assault and file a formal complaint.

During your meeting with the local police, you will be asked to describe your assault in great details, after which the local police will generate a formal complaint report.

The report contains important details that can help you make an insurance claim at a later date, as well as a claim for compensation under the Canadian government's Victims Fund, among other things. 

Keep in mind that in most cases, for a victim assistance request to be approved, it is mandatory to have contacted the local police after the assault and to hold a copy of the police report, even if it doesn't fully match the facts. 

In some countries, your life could be at risk if you decide to go after your abuser, but be aware that bringing proceedings against your abuser isn't a requirement for your assistance request to be approved, and this kind of decision is totally up to you. 

In short, know that there is a difference between reporting your assault and bringing proceedings against your abuser.  You can contact the local police to file a complaint, ask a copy of the report, and then withdraw your complaint for your own safety. This won't impact the possibility of being compensated, and - once again - the decision to bring proceedings against your abuser is solely your own. 

RECOMMENDATIONS : If you don't have immediate access to a local police service, please note or record all the details you remember about the assault to allow for the creation of a very detailed report. Keep in mind that if you leave the country without filling a formal complaint, you might not be able to do so from Canada, and this could have an impact on the financial assistance you are entitled to following an assault. 

3. Consult with a medical authority that can assess your physical and psychological health.

Ask for medical assistance, even if you don't show any sign of physical violence. It is important to consult with a health care professional who can run some tests to assess your injuries, as well as your risk of getting pregnant and/or a sexually transmitted infection. 

RECOMMENDATIONS : It may be appropriate to take pictures of any visible injuries and to keep all available evidence of your assault. This also means waiting for the medical or law enforcement authorities to give you the go ahead to shower, use the bathroom or brush your teeth, as to avoid destroying important pieces of evidence that could be used to identify your abuser. 

4. Get support.

If you feel the need to do so, you can : 

  • contact a person you trust to get help and support, inform them, or give them some news; 

  • ​contact your local CALACS to receive advice and support, including upon your return home;

  • contact your travel insurance and your baggage handler to know more about the procedure and the fees related to changing your return flight, should you decide to return home after the assault.

RECOMMENDATION : ​Keep all the bills for the expenses incurred following the assault. You could need them to apply for compensation. 

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