3. Get legal help

You don’t need a lawyer to make a claim to the Victim Quick Response Program+ or to start a lawsuit. But it’s a good idea to ask a lawyer about your options and what is best for your situation.

If you’re thinking about making a claim, you should get legal advice as soon as possible to make sure that you don’t miss a deadline.

ARCH Disability Law Centre might be able to give legal advice if you’re experiencing abuse in a group home or from a service provider. ARCH is a legal clinic and its services are free to people with disabilities. Usually, ARCH helps people with low income or who get social assistance.

Legal Aid Ontario gives free legal advice to people with low income. They also give people of all income levels up to 20 minutes of legal advice. Call 1-800-668-8258, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Law Society Referral Service gives you the name of a lawyer in your area who can give you a free consultation for up to 30 minutes. Ask for a lawyer who can give advice about a claim for historic abuse. If you’re unable to use the online service on their website, you can call the crisis line at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 in Toronto. This service is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reach Canada helps people with disabilities who live in Ottawa. They can give you the name of a lawyer who can help you and who may give you up to 3 hours of free legal advice. Call 1-888-669-4001.

The Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AJEFO) has a resource called the Ontario Legal Information Centre that gives you 30 minutes with a lawyer over the telephone or in person. Call 1-844-343-7462 to speak with a lawyer who can give advice about a claim for historic abuse in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.

Pro Bono Ontario helps people with low incomes who want to sue in Small Claims Court or the Superior Court of Justice. In Ottawa and Toronto, Pro Bono Ontario provides lawyers at Small Claims Court. Duty counsel lawyers give advice and can sometimes help you represent yourself in court. Or you can call their legal advice hotline at 1-855-255-7256 for up to 30 minutes of free legal advice and help. The hotline is usually available from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and between 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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