Windsor

Windsor woman plans to be among the first to file online report through new police tool

The Windsor Police Service launched a new tool Tuesday that allows victims of sexual assault to report the incident online.

Online service meant for non-emergency situations where evidence is not required

Jayce Carver plans to file a police report using a new online tool offered by Windsor police. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Jayce Carver says she was violently assaulted by three men more than a year ago, but didn't feel comfortable reporting the incident to police. On Tuesday, that changed.

The transgender woman will be among the first people to use a new tool created by Windsor Police that allows those who have been sexually assaulted to file a report online.

Carver was homeless at the time of the alleged assault. She was actively using drugs in the midst of her transition and had a few encounters with police she didn't view as positive.

"Those kind of experiences made me feel unable to really cooperate with the police in a way that didn't feel almost intrusive and having to need to identify in those situations in order to make a report," Carver said.

The new online tool is for non-emergency reports of sexual assault crimes. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Carver wasn't alone in opting against filing a report. About 90 per cent of sexual assaults go unreported, according to Statistics Canada. Windsor police hope the new tool will reverse that trend.

After filing the online report, it's up to the victim to decide whether they want to pursue the investigation or if they simply want police to have the information, which may be pursued later on if the victim is willing.

A report can be filed if the victim is in a non-emergency situation and no DNA or other evidence is at risk of being lost. The email address used is private so the suspect cannot access it, said police.

The victim will receive a printable report number by email and, if requested, a sexual assault investigator will contact the person within seven days.

Carver planned on reporting her assault Tuesday. She admits it's more of a statement because it's coming more than a year after the alleged incident and she no longer has any physical evidence of the attack. But just going through the process is an important step, she said. 

"I always try to show people by example and if I want my community to start using this tool, I'll go ahead and be the first," she said. "It's empowering. It's no longer a piece of my life that holds any power over me."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Viau

Journalist

Jason Viau is reporter for CBC News based in Windsor, Ont. He has an interest in telling stories related to accountability, policing, court, crime and municipal affairs. You can email story ideas and tips to jason.viau@cbc.ca.

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