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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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What documents will my partner get to see?

If your partner is charged with a crime, his lawyer gets disclosure. The Crown Attorney will have to show his lawyer any statements, photographs, or other information that was given to the police by you or other witnesses.

Disclosure: sharing of all documents, evidence, or information that the police and Crown Attorney have.

In sexual assault cases, there are rules about using your personal records, including medical, counselling, or therapy records, and personal journals and diaries. To get a copy of these records, your partner's lawyer must apply to the court and ask for them. These applications have very strict rules. The defence lawyer must prove to the court that your partner cannot make a proper defence without the records and that their disclosure will not significantly invade your privacy.

You can hire a lawyer to challenge the application for your records. You can apply for a Legal Aid certificate to help pay for a lawyer if you qualify financially.

Legal Aid certificate: a document that says Legal Aid Ontario has agreed to pay for a certain number of hours of a lawyer’s time to work on your legal issues. Not all lawyers accept these certificates. You have to find a lawyer who agrees to work for you and agrees to accept your certificate. You can find a lawyer who accepts Legal Aid certificates online at www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/findingalawyer.asp.

If Legal Aid Ontario denies your application for a certificate, you can contact VWAP staff or the Crown Attorney's Office for help getting a lawyer.