How do I know I’m in an abusive situation?

4. Talk to a lawyer

You can talk to a lawyer who can give you some legal information and advice before or after you leave an abusive relationship.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for everything, some lawyers also provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you might be able to find legal help in other places. You can also find emotional, safety planning, and housing help when leaving an abusive relationship.

If you have experienced and need immediate legal help, you might be able to get 2 hours of free advice from a lawyer. This service is offered through some women's shelters, community legal clinics, and Family Law Service Centres. Or you can call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 to find out more.

If you have experienced sexual abuse and live in Toronto, Ottawa, or Thunder Bay, you might be able to get 4 hours of free advice from a lawyer. You have to complete a voucher request form. Or you can call the Independent Legal Advice for Sexual Assault Survivors Pilot Program at 1-855-226-3904 to find out more.

If you want to get a restraining order only and there are no other family issues, you might be able to get up to 6 hours of free legal help. If you want a and other family law orders, you have to apply for a regular legal aid certificate. You can call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 to find out more.

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