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Sex Crimes Unit
The Vancouver Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit investigates all serious sexual assaults and all serious child assaults reported to the VPD where further evidence is required to request criminal charges from Crown Counsel.
The unit is comprised of three operational sergeants, 20 investigative detectives, a training officer, a ViCLAS coordinator, an analyst and two project assistants.
How to Report the Sexual Assault of a Child
To report a sexual or physical assault that has just occurred, call 911.
Sexual abuse against a child can range from touching that is sexual in nature, to intercourse. Children can't precipitate or consent to sexual activity with an older person because they lack sufficient knowledge and because of the inherent difference in power between an adult and child.
If possible, avoid washing away or disposing of any possible evidence. A patrol car will be dispatched as soon as possible.
Children's Hospital has a Child Protection Service Unit for children 13 and under. Call (604) 875-3270 for assistance.
If the child has been involved in an online sexually coercive conversation, contact the VPD non-emergency line at (604) 717-3321. Someone from the Vice Unit will follow up.
If the child has been physically assaulted, has broken bones, burns, or a severe injury, contact the VPD non-emergency line at (604) 717-3321 after seeking medical attention. Someone from the Sex Crimes Unit will follow up.
If it is a historical sexual assault that occurred in Vancouver and has NOT been reported to police, contact the VPD non-emergency line at (604) 717-3321. If you do not reside in Vancouver, please contact your local police agency.
Tips to Protect Your Children
Be concerned about adults who are involved with your children beyond their intended capacity. In the course of a day your child may meet and interact with many adults – coaches, teachers, childcare workers, volunteers, retailers, health care providers and other professionals. Your child needs to learn the appropriate way to work and play around these people, and what to expect from them in turn. This is especially true when children are alone with an adult.
- never leave young children alone
- know your child's environment and habits
- know the people who spend time with your children
- encourage the buddy system (always pair up with another child when they are away from home or school)
- know the signs of abuse and where to go for help
Teach your children "good touch, bad touch." There are private areas on your child's body that no one else should touch. Teach your child the proper names of the intimate body parts on boys and girls. Encourage children to speak up if they feel uncomfortable about the way someone is touching them.
Abused children may not tell their parents about what has happened to them, confiding in friends or other relatives instead. When they learn of the abuse, parents may feel guilty, angry or upset, but should remember the most important thing is that the child told someone and is asking for help.
Children frequently present non-verbal cues that can alert parents that something isn't right. These may include nightmares, fear of going to bed, stomach-ache and bed-wetting. Abused children may also become excessively physically affectionate or imitate adult flirtatious behavior. They may simulate intercourse or other sexual behaviors with dolls, pets or other children.
Support Agencies for Victims of Sexual Assault
See Victim Services for information on VPD support services for victims.