2. Think about the kind of support you need

Think about the kind of support you need. For example:

Emotional support

Emotional support is important whenever a relationship breaks down. If you’ve been abused by your partner, emotional support is even more important.

You have to be prepared to talk about the abuse you’ve experienced. This can be difficult. You may want to speak with a trusted family member, friend, social worker, or counsellor.

Safety concerns

Your partner may bully and threaten you even after you’ve separated. This may leave you feeling unsafe both physically and emotionally. A counsellor or a friend can help you to make a safety plan.

If you have any concerns about your children, you can include them in your safety plan.

Support for your children

Your children may need professional support from a counsellor or emotional support from friends and family to help them adjust to all the changes in their lives.

Housing issues

When you leave your abusive partner, you may have to move into a shelter temporarily or to a friend’s or family member’s home. You may need help to find more permanent housing.

Financial issues

A lawyer can let you know what financial duties and rights you and your partner have after you separate. You may have a right to , , and .

You may also be able to get income support from Ontario Works if you have a low income or no income. Ontario Works, sometimes called welfare, makes income support payments. You must apply to Ontario Works.

You may not get welfare or may get less welfare if you get:

Ontario Works may refuse to pay you if you haven’t made “reasonable efforts” to get child or spousal support from your partner. But sometimes you may not have to try to get support, for example, if you’re leaving an abusive relationship. So it’s important to tell them if you’ve been abused.

Legal help

If you, or your partner, have been charged with committing a crime, you may want support with the criminal court process as well.

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