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

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Legal services for victims of violence

Some specialized legal services are available to victims of family violence. These include agencies and services that have lawyers providing legal services and other staff members trained to offer legal support services.

Family Court Support Workers

Family Court Support Workers provide support to victims of domestic violence who are involved in the family court process. A Family Court Support Worker:

  • gives information about the family law and court process
  • helps you prepare for family court proceedings
  • refers you to other specialized services and supports in the community
  • helps with safety planning
  • goes to court proceedings with you, where appropriate

A Family Court Support Worker can also help you find a lawyer.

Family Court Support Workers are based in communities across the province. A list of service providers is on the website.

If you have questions about the program, or need help finding your service provider, call the Victim Support Line (VSL).

Toll-free (VSL): 1-888-579-2888

Toronto area (VSL): 416-314-2447

Website: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/family_court_support_worker_program/service_providers.php

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

This organization provides free legal representation in family and immigration law to women in the Greater Toronto Area who experience physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. It also provides counselling and language interpreter services. Its staff can give summary advice and advocacy in criminal law.

Toronto area (accepts collect calls): 416-323-9149

TTY: 416-323-1361

Website: www.schliferclinic.com

Jared's Place Legal Advocacy & Resource Centre for Women

This Hamilton organization provides free legal information to women who have experienced abuse. Women can get support from a legal advocate and summary legal advice from a lawyer.

Hamilton area: 905-522-0127, ext. 207

Website: www.intervalhousehamilton.org

Luke's Place

This Durham Region organization provides a wide range of legal support services to women who have experienced abuse and are involved in family court. Women can access free summary legal advice through the Pro Bono Summary Advice Clinic, which is held one day a week. Women can also get advice by speaking with a staff lawyer.

Their website has a list of organizations in Ontario that support abused women at www.lukesplace.ca/resources/family-law-support-services-for-women.

Toll-free: 1-866-516-3116

Oshawa area: 905-728-0978

Website: www.lukesplace.ca