1. Get legal help

You don’t need a lawyer to apply for a . But it’s a good idea to get legal help, especially if your case has complicating factors. For example, like if you’re concerned about your immigration status or if you have for a child. Decision-making responsibility used to be called .

A lawyer can help you decide the type of you need, the conditions to ask for, and how to apply.  If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are resources to help you. 

Legal help for survivors of abuse

If you have experienced  and need legal help right away, you might be able to get 2 hours of free advice from a lawyer from Legal Aid Ontario. 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. Women in Toronto can also this service through the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic helps women who have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. The Clinic represents some women in family and immigration court for free. The Clinic accepts collect calls and can be reached at 416-323-9140 or 416-323-1361 (TTY).

Luke’s Place works with abused women in Durham Region who are or might become involved with the family law system. They can also help women find family law services elsewhere in the province. Luke’s Place can be reached at 905-728-0978 or 1-866-516-3116.

Get help right away

If you need a restraining order right away, go to your nearest family court and ask for help from the or lawyer. You might also be able to get help from a Family Court Support Worker.

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