Services in Ontario - Partner abuse
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Domestic violence services
Contact InformationPhone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511
LAO offers 2 hours of free advice with a lawyer to people who have experienced domestic violence and need immediate legal help. Ask your local shelter or community legal clinic if they offer this service or call LAO to find out more.
LAO might also pay for a lawyer to help you if you’ve been charged with assault while trying to defend yourself against your abusive partner.
Contact InformationPhone 905-728-0978 Toll-free TTY 1-866-516-3116
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Contact InformationPhone 416-323-9149
If you live in Toronto, this clinic offers family legal services and support to women who are in abusive relationships or have left one. Immigration law help is available to women outside Toronto.
Barbra Schlifer also offers free interpreter services 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. And they have a Family Court Support Worker Program (FCSWP). For other services and supports, visit their website.
Ontario Legal Information Centre
Contact InformationPhone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462
Canadian Council of Muslim Women
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women provides Muslim women in Canada with culturally appropriate referrals to legal information and advice in family law, as well as with other issues like housing, mental health, and food bank services. It includes referrals to lawyers, as well as imams and social services organizations such as shelters. You have to email this intake form, and the service will try to respond within 24 hours.
Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory
Contact InformationPhone 416-479-0551 Toll-free 1-866-919-3219
JusticeNet helps people find a legal professional if their income is too high to get legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they refer you to an online directory of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates.
JusticeNet is a non-profit organization. You must register and pay a $25 fee to use their website. They may return the fee if you don’t find a professional to work with.
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Contact InformationPhone 416-863-0511 Toll-free 1-866-863-0511 TTY 416-364-8762 Toll-free TTY 1-866-863-7868
The helpline is a 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis line for women who have experienced abuse. It helps women in over 200 languages, and offers counselling, support, information, and referrals to legal and community services.
You can call them or text #SAFE (#7233) on a Bell, Rogers, Fido, or Telus mobile phone.
Family Law Information Centres (FLIC)
During the COVID-19 situation, Information and Referral Coordinators (IRCs) are available remotely at certain times. Contact the family law office at your local courthouse for more information.
FLIC’s are available in every court in Ontario that deals with family law. All have free pamphlets. Many have staff who can:
- tell you about community and legal services
- explain the court process
- tell you about ways to solve legal issues without going to court
Some FLICs have advice lawyers at certain times. These are lawyers paid by Legal Aid Ontario to answer questions, give general legal advice, and review legal documents on family law issues.
Distress and Crisis Ontario
Distress and Crisis Ontario has a list of distress centres across the province that help people who are lonely, depressed, or suicidal. The centres are usually available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Many centres also have programs for survivors of suicide, support services for young people, telephone programs for seniors and vulnerable people, and mental health crisis lines.
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General – Family Court Support Worker Program
Contact InformationPhone 416-314-2447 (Victim Support Line) Toll-free 1-888-579-2888 (Victim Support Line)
Family Court Support Workers help people who have experienced domestic violence and are involved in the family court process. Their services are free of charge and are available in every family court in Ontario.
They don’t give legal advice, but they can do things like:
- give information about the family court process
- help you get ready for court
- refer you to other community services and supports
- help with safety planning, such as getting to and from court safely
Services are confidential, and are available in English, French, and other languages if you ask for it.