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    You Are Experiencing (or Have Experienced) Domestic Violence

    You are experiencing (or have experienced) domestic violence
    Legal Aid
    May 2016

    Anyone in Ontario who is experiencing domestic violence can get a free emergency two-hour consultation with a lawyer.

    What is domestic violence?


    Domestic violence may include physical and sexual abuse. It can also include financial and emotional abuse. Some examples of domestic violence:

    • hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping or punching
    • forced sex
    • control over all the family money
    • insults
    • put-downs
    • repeated phone calls
    • unwanted visits to your home
    • threats to harm you, your children, other family members or pets



    Are you living with domestic violence?

    Legal Aid Ontario has special family law services to help people experiencing domestic violence, regardless of immigration status in Canada. Free telephone interpretation services for non-English or non-French speaking applicants are also available.

    If you are experiencing domestic violence, and are in need of legal assistance, you can call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 for a free two-hour consultation with a private lawyer. This lawyer can tell you the truth about your legal rights. You may, for instance, have the right to stay in Canada, keep your children, or get financial support, even if you leave an abusive partner. This service, along with free advice on immigration and refugee matters, is also offered through many shelters and community legal clinics.
    You can also call the Assaulted Women's Helpline

    If you are experiencing violence or the effects of violence, crisis, and abuse, you can call the Assaulted Women's Helpline, 24-hours a day, seven days a week for immediate help:

    Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
    TTY (Telephone device for the hearing impaired):1-866-863-7868
    GTA: 416-863-0511
    TTY (Telephone device for the hearing impaired):416-364-8762

    Legal aid certificates

    What's a legal aid certificate?

    Legal Aid Ontario issues legal aid certificates to people who are financially and legally eligible and need a lawyer. This certificate is like a ?voucher? for legal services. You can use it to ?pay? for a lawyer to represent you for a certain number of hours.

    In addition, if you are financially eligible and are experiencing domestic violence, you may qualify for a Legal Aid Ontario certificate, which you can take to a family lawyer of your choice.

    Certificates are available when you are financially eligible and need a lawyer to represent you in one of these situations:

    1. You need legal services for issues such as a contested issue and/or change (variation) to an existing family court order.
    2. You have no criminal record, and are charged with assault against your violent partner. LAO makes this coverage available because in some cases, people experiencing domestic violence are charged with assault while attempting to defend themselves. These criminal charges could affect your family court case, especially custody and access, as well as any child-protection proceeding.



    Your gross (before-tax) family income must be lower than the ones on this chart:

    Number of family members Income must be lower than
    1 $21,438
    2 $32,131
    3 $36,921
    4 $44,068
    5+ $50,803

    Other resources

    Below are some other resources for those experiencing domestic violence. Please note that these are external links and Legal Aid Ontario is not responsible for their content.

    Abuse and Family Violence
    Your legal rights information on abuse and family violence issues

    Barbra Schlifer Clinic
    Provides free and integrated legal, counseling, interpretation, information and referral services for women who have experienced violence.

    Covering your tracks on the Internet
    If you are worried your abuser may be able to see what websites you have visited, read these tips on how to protect yourself.

    Do you know a women who is being abused? A Legal Rights Handbook
    Produced by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), this guide offers practical information on issues in family, criminal and other areas of law that women in abusive relationships often face.

    For Victims of Family Violence
    Information from the Canadian Department of Justice

    If you need help - Services for Women
    The Ontario Women's Directorate provides many resources.

    Learning to end abuse
    Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

    Violence in the Family
    Information from the Ministry of the Attorney General

    Women's resources
    Working with the community to provide services and support for abused women & their children and to provide opportunities to end violence against women.
    Last edited by making_art; May 13th, 2016 at 02:03 PM.

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