Physical assault

Take precautions while travelling abroad

Avoid travelling on long-distance or international buses or trains at night. Try to travel early in the day, so that you will have time to find a suitable place to spend the night before dark.

Make sure your accommodations are in a safe area. Wherever possible, try to share a room with someone you know.

Never open your door to anyone without confirming the visitor’s identity. Assailants often disguise themselves as repair or delivery persons to gain entry.

Conceal your passport, airline ticket, credit and debit cards, traveller’s cheques, cash, a copy of your insurance policy and contact information for the nearest Canadian government office abroad in a money belt or neck pouch.

Study a street map of your destination in advance. Avoid opening a map while out on the street—or do so as discreetly as possible—to avoid appearing lost or vulnerable.

Avoid sightseeing in isolated areas. Beware of petty criminals who target tourists. They may work individually or in teams, sometimes by pretending to help you or by causing a distraction to steal your belongings.

If you are assaulted or threatened abroad

Contact the local authorities and file a police report immediately. The nearest Canadian government office abroad can help you.

If you are unable to go to the police immediately, record all details and, if possible, have photographs taken of your injuries.

Seek medical and other professional assistance. If the assault was violent, do not assume that you are physically well. Go to a health care professional. See our Sickness or injury page for further advice.

Contact family and friends to reassure them of your safety and well-being, especially if you have been unable to contact them due to the assault.

To help cope with the trauma, discuss the incident with family and friends or with a professional.

Report the assault to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or contact our Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

Canadian government officials abroad can:

  • provide you with contact information on local police and medical services
  • help to identify professionals to provide support in dealing with the emotional, medical, and legal consequences of the assault
  • help you contact relatives or friends
  • help you meet your basic safety needs
  • tell you that you are eligible to apply for emergency financial assistance through the Victims Fund, which is administered by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues

If the offender is arrested

You may be required to give testimony and attend legal proceedings. As in Canada, legal proceedings may be prolonged.

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