What is the DVTO?
What are some of the benefits of DVTO?
- The DVTO allows people who have used violence against a spouse or partner to take responsibility for their behaviour and receive support and counselling
- The program provides intervention by a team that can help improve the participant's relationships for the long term
- After successful completion of the program, the sentencing judge will take into consideration the dramatic and meaningful step towards long term change made by the participant
How does the DVTO work?
- Cases are fast tracked
- Initial and ongoing support will be offered to the participant
- Release conditions can more easily be amended to be flexible and accommodating of the ongoing domestic relationship
- A meaningful reduction can be made to the appropriate sentence because of the participant's changed circumstances
How does a case get before the DVTO?
- Cases where domestic violence is alleged are fast tracked into the DVTO on prescheduled Thursdays
- The participant may complete an 8 session program designed to address the emotional and psychological causes of domestic violence
- The participant may access additional counselling to work on other emotional or psychological causes of violence such as alcohol addiction
- The participant is encouraged throughout the program and is required to report back to Court to help monitor progress
- Other resource people such as Probation Officers/Bail Supervisors, the DVTO coordinator, counsellors and victims services will regularly attend Court to provide assistance
- Following the completion of the program, the team will report on the participant's progress
- The sentencing judge may review any information or report submitted by the treatment team
How is someone accepted into the DVTO?
- The RCMP: When the RCMP lay a charge alleging domestic violence the first appearance will be set to a DVTO Court
- The Crown: Crown counsel reviewing files can flag a file for possible transfer to DVTO from Territorial Court
- The Defence: A person charged with domestic violence may decide that it is time to change the behaviour that leads to violence and the Defence can advocate for a person's acceptance into the program
Who can I contact for more information?
- In order to participate in the DVTO, a person must accept responsibility for violence by pleading guilty
- Both the Crown and Defence must agree before someone enters the program
- Individuals are considered for acceptance at a pre-court meeting involving the team, Crown, Defence and Bail supervisors
- A person must meet the assessment criteria for the 8 week program to be accepted
- If you are accused of a crime against your spouse or partner, contact your lawyer and ask if this could be an option for you
- If you need a lawyer, call Legal Aid at 867-767-9361