Services in Ontario - Courts and partner abuse
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Domestic violence services
Contact InformationPhone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 711
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.
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.
Law Society Referral Service
The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.
If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ontario Legal Information Centre
Contact InformationPhone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462
The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office in English or French. They can provide legal information in any legal topic, and referrals to services. You have to leave a message and a lawyer will call you back.
Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory
JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that can help people find legal services when their income is too high for legal aid and too low to afford legal fees. Their website has a list of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who charge reduced fees based on your income and the size of your family. You must register and pay a small fee to use their services.
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.
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.
Ontario Women’s Legal Centre
Contact InformationToll-free 1-833-632-0838
The Center offers free legal information and legal summary advice about family law, immigration and refugee law, housing law, and criminal law in cases of sexual assault in French to Francophone women in Ontario who are experiencing family violence. There is no financial eligibility test.
You must first call or email the legal support worker who will ask you for some information to understand your legal issue. A lawyer will call you back, usually within 4-5 days. The lawyer will spend up to 4 hours to answer your questions, give you advice, and review documents and forms.
The Centre also offers what’s called limited scope retainer or unbundled services. This means you pay a lawyer to help you with part of your case.