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

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Part 2: Preparing to leave

It is difficult to leave an abusive relationship. Leaving can often take a lot of time. You need to think about protecting yourself and your children, finding a place to stay both now and in the future, and getting financial support.

You might want help making these and other decisions. You can talk with someone you trust, such as a friend, doctor, nurse, lawyer, social worker, or shelter worker.

You can also call a crisis helpline. You don’t have to give your name when you call.

Other agencies can also offer support and advice. Be aware that some professionals have to report to a Children's Aid Society (CAS) if they believe that a child needs protection.

Planning is very important. Whether or not you choose to leave your partner, your safety is the most important thing. You need to think about what to do and what to expect, and how you can protect yourself and your children. It is a good idea to get legal advice as soon as possible.

Your partner might try to monitor your phone calls, emails, or website visits. Luke’s Place tells you how to stay safe online or on your phone.

See www.lukesplace.ca/resources/keep-safe-online.

Assess the risks

You know your partner. You need to assess the risks you face, whether you stay or leave. Abusive men often become more dangerous when they know their partners are planning to leave, or have already left.

Only share information with people you can trust to keep it private. Be very careful about what you tell your children or what they might overhear. It can be difficult for them not to share information with your partner.